The Scottish Government must provide
the funding for the new 'named person'
placed upon all childcare and child welfare
professionals by the Children and Young
People’s Act, the STUC was told.
The act will see the formalisation and
statutory provision for “the named
person”, a concept introduced but
not legislated for in the Scottish Government’s
framework Getting it Right for Every Child.
"A law that has great intentions
to improve the wellbeing of our children
in Scotland needs to be backed up with
the resources to actually deliver on those
promises. Otherwise it will be no more
than intentions - and worse still, our
members will be left carrying the can",
UNISON's John Stevenson told Congress,
seconding an SSTA motion.
UNISON had warned in 2012 that that not
enough had been done to cost the measures.
John told delegates he had raised that
again when giving evidence to the Scottish
Parliament Education and Culture Committee
At that committee, in a question to John,
Labour MSP Neil Findlay calculated that,
according the financial memorandum, midwives
would get just two and a half minutes
with each child a week - and health visitors
will get just over a minute.
"Now, I assure you I am not normally
long-winded in my answers", said
John, "but Neil pointed out that
it took me longer to answer his question
than health staff will have each week
to address the named person role!"
The motion stressed that, if the potential
benefits to vulnerable children are to
be realised, this will require funding
over and beyond the first year one-off
costs currently on offer.
John added: "I suppose we should
be getting used to promises of lots of
good things and no bad things without
a whisper of where the money is coming
from - and the Scottish Government will
no doubt accuse us scaremongering.
"That is why I would point out that
even the SNP's own convener of the Finance
Committee, Ken Gibson, said it was "unacceptable"
that his committee had to scrutinise the
financial implications of the Bill just
hours before it was due to become law."
He pointed to a question he had asked
about a recent child protection inspection
which brought the answer that the inspection's
remit did not cover resources.
"That means staff on the ground
are expected to deliver on government's
grand designs and, if they don't get the
resources to do it, they get the blame,
not the government."