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Roles and Responsibilities

Most children and young people will get all the help and support they need from their families and the provision available within their neighbourhoods and communities. However, at various times in their childhood and adolescence, children and young people may need some extra help and this will be provided by universal services. The individual within the universal services of maternity, public health nursing, and education who will coordinate this help is known as the Named Person. If the child's needs require help from more than two agencies or are assessed as more complex and require considerable help from targeted or specialist services a lead professional will be identified who will initiate an multi agency assessment and complete a child's plan.

Named Person

Although the Named Person role is crucial to the coordination of help when it is needed, it is important to stress that ALL children and young people will have an identified Named Person whether a need has been identified or not, and who this will be will depend on a child's age and stage of development as outlined in the table below.

Age / StageNamed PersonService TypeAgency
Named Person at Each Stage of Development
Day 11 until child starts primary schoolHealth VisitorUniversal ServiceER HSCP
Primary school yearsSchool to nominate promoted member of staffUniversal ServiceERC Education
High school yearsPrincipal Teacher Pupil SupportUniversal ServiceERC Education
School leaver until 18 years oldEducation ServicesUniversal ServiceERC Education

6 Key Questions

Referring to the 8 SHANARRI wellbeing indicators the Named Person will need to ask the following:

  1. What is getting in the way of this child / young person's wellbeing?
  2. Do I have all the information I need to help this child/young person?
  3. What can I do now to help this child/young person?
  4. What can my agency do to help this child/young person?
  5. What additional help - if any - may be needed from others?
  6. What is the view of the child and the family?

These questions will help the Named Person identify the level of assistance that is appropriate and proportionate for the child/young person.

Any practitioner who identifies wellbeing issues for a child or young person should also ask the 6 key questions and share this information with the Named Person in order that the child's needs can be addressed in a coordinated way.

The role of the Named Person - duties and responsibilities

  • First point of contact for the child, family, or other professionals when concerns are raised
  • If concerns are raised about a child/young person ask the 6 key questions and take action to coordinate any help needed
  • Maintain accurate and up to date information within the child's core record, chronology, and plan about the child and any related adults and record decisions and actions taken
  • When a child needs extra help prepare a Wellbeing Assessment and SHANARRI Plan and take a lead on implementing and reviewing.
  • The plan should identify which of the eight well-being indicators of safe, healthy, achieving, nurtured, active, respected, responsible and included needs to be addressed. The Named Person will review other knowledge held within their agency and analyse information needed to identify what is causing the problems, bearing in mind the 3 domains of the My World Triangle.
  • Initiate and coordinate any help a child needs from within their own agency/service
  • Seek assistance from other agencies when it is appropriate and proportionate to do so
  • Act as a point of contact for other agencies and respond to requests for information sharing
  • Encourage parents to understand and contribute towards their child's wellbeing
  • Develop and maintain positive relationships with the child and family
  • Ensure that the views of children and families are sought at every stage
  • Ensure that children and families are fully involved in decisions that affect them
  • When sharing information with others ensure the child and family understand why this is happening and record the decision to do so.
  • Facilitate positive transitions for the child to the new Named Person

The Health Visitor as Named Person 

From the age of 11 days old until the point the child attends primary school an identified health visitor will take over the role of Named Person to support and monitor the child's growth and development. The health visitor will introduce themselves to the parents as the child's Named Person and in line with their normal duties and responsibilities will at the point of transfer from midwifery, conduct an assessment of the child's needs using the universal health assessment.

As a consequence of the assessment they will allocate one of two categories of Health Plan Indicator (HPI) "Core" or "Additional" dependent on whether core support is sufficient or additional input is required for the child and their family.  If a child is categorised as "Core" and no other concerns are raised by the parents or other agencies they will not be assessed again until the formal 24/30 month assessment.  However parents will be able to contact the health visitor as their named person at any time for advice and support and other agencies such as nurseries will also be able to communicate with the health visitor in their named person role if they have a concern that they believe needs to be addressed.

The health visitor as Named Person will inform the child and family of the transfer of the role to education when the child begins to attend school. The health visitor will then liaise with the appropriate primary school to ensure the transition is seamless.

The Named Person in Education

At the point of entry to primary school, education will take over the Named Person role and assume responsibility as key point of contact for the child's wellbeing.  In the primary school setting the Named Person will be a promoted member of staff nominated by the Head Teacher and each school will ensure that children and parents are aware of the staff member who will fulfil this role.

In high schools the role will be undertaken by the Principal Teacher Pupil Support. The Named Person will ensure the child's wellbeing is assessed and monitored regularly in line with the staged intervention process.

If the named person requires support or advice, guidance can be sought from the Request for Assistance team if there are ongoing issues regarding a young person

The Named Person Post School 

Education will provide this role post school and the expectation is that this will mainly focus on opportunities for all, training/employment and signposting young people to the most appropriate sources of support and help.

Other Circumstances

  • Home Educated Children - if the child was enrolled as a school pupil prior to being home educated, the school will continue to be the child's Named Person.  If the child was not enrolled the school will still be named person (this relies on parent or health notifying Education).
  • Gypsy/Traveller Children - Education will always be named person whether the child or young person is enrolled at school or not (this relies on parent or health notifying Education).
  • Independent sector - independent school will take on the role of the Named Person

A Key Role at Transition Points

The Named Person will contribute towards the planning for children who need extra help at the key transfer points between midwifery, health visiting, primary school, high school and post school. They will ensure effective transfer of information about the child/young person to the new Named Person in the agency assuming responsibility for the child.

Request for Assistance

If the named person has a wellbeing concern they should formally contact the Request for Assistance team.

Ruth Sills

Interagency Child Protection Training Officer

East Renfrewshire HSCP HQ

1 Burnfield Avenue

Giffnock

G46 7TL

Office:- 01415773381

Mobile:- 07870513869

When a Lead Professional is required

There are occasions where children's needs require two or more agencies to work together and ensure effective delivery of services to the child and family. In all such cases, a lead professional should be identified.  The role of the lead professional is to coordinate a multi agency assessment, produce a child's plan, and lead on the implementation of the plan.

Identifying the most appropriate Lead Professional

Selection of the lead professional is influenced by:

  • The kind of help which the child or family needs
  • Previous contact and relationship with the child or young person
  • Any statutory responsibility to co-ordinate work with the child or family e.g. involvement with children's hearing; requires a coordinated support plan
  • In some cases, to make sure the child and family get the best possible help, because the child has identifiable complex needs, or there is a statutory obligation defined in law towards a child, the lead professional will need to come from a particular agency.

Examples where statutory requirements need to be accounted for are:

  • Where a child needs an education  Co-ordinated Support Plan for additional support for learning
  • A child is formally looked after which includes the child being subject to a requirement from a children's hearing or where a child is voluntarily looked after and accommodated

There will also be other administrative categories where compliance with procedures will help ensure a child's safety, for example, for a child whose name is on the child protection register.

How a Lead Professional will be appointed

When the decision is taken that a multi agency assessment is necessary for a child or young person, agreement must be reached on the lead agency for the assessment and which professional will undertake the role of the lead professional.

Needs/Concerns Identified (non statutory)

  • Where those working with the child and family in the universal services of health or education have concerns significant enough to suggest a plan involving two or more agencies will be necessary, then a multi agency assessment should be carried out and a child's plan should be drawn up. The need for a multi agency assessment and a Child's plan may have arisen from growing concern over a period of time and this may be noted in the universal service's record of the child or chronology.  Alternatively the need for a more comprehensive assessment and plan may be related to a particular event or incident. Indeed the need for a multi agency assessment may be prompted by a practitioner or the named person asking the six key questions - see above.
  • Similarly should a child's needs be complex but unlikely to warrant statutory intervention a practitioner from the universal services will become the lead professional. This could be, for example, a practitioner who can co-ordinate an assessment and a Child's plan for a child with complex health needs with the help of other services.

Child/Young Person Subject to Statutory Intervention

  • Additional Support for Learning:     Where a child meets the criteria for a coordinated support plan the lead professional will be selected from Education Services.  The exception to this maybe where there are additional concerns around the child's home circumstances such as neglect or protection concerns.  In these circumstances Education and Social Work will discuss and agree the most appropriate lead agency and professional.
  • Children's Hearing or Child Protection Investigation:     There will be circumstances where neglect or a child's safety is the primary issue, or there is a statutory requirement for a lead professional, such as where a child is looked after at home or away from home, or there is a need for a multi agency assessment after a child protection investigation has taken place.  In such cases a practitioner from a social work team will be required to lead.

Please note existing agency and interagency child protection procedures must be initiated by practitioners if they identify a child protection concern during a multi agency assessment process.

The circumstances when a lead professional will be required and the agency that will provide this service are summarised in the table below:

Needs / Circumstances of child / young personLead Professional and Agency
Appointment of Lead Professional and Agency
Child / young person is looked after at home or away from homeSocial Worker (HSCP)
Child / young person is subject to a report requested by the Children's ReporterSocial Worker (HSCP)
Child / young person is working on a voluntary basis with HSCP Children and Families TeamSocial Worker (HSCP)
Child / young person is subject to child protection investigation, registration or general activitySocial Worker (HSCP)
Child / young person will be subject to an assessment leading to a coordinated support plan, or already has a CSPEducation Services (ERC)
Child / young person has complex health needsEducational Psychologist (ERC) / Specialist Health Services (NHSGGC)

The Key Responsibilities of the Lead Professional

These are the following:

  • Using the National Practice Model the Lead Professional will coordinate the multi agency assessment and lead on the construction of the child's plan
  • Notify appropriate agencies of the need for a multi agency assessment/plan
  • Arrange for other professionals to contribute towards a multi agency assessment
  • Ensure all agencies co-operate fully in the assessment process and provide accurate, up to date and coherent information
  • Create a multi agency chronology of significant events, keep this updated and ensure other agencies are aware of their responsibility for this process
  • Gather and analyse the assessment information provided by the other agencies using the My World Triangle and the Resilience Matrix, draw conclusions and make recommendations
  • Ensure participation of child/young person and family throughout process and ensure their views are heard and considered
  • Be a main point of contact with the child and family for the purpose of discussing the plan and its progress
  • Organise if needed the appropriate multi agency meeting
  • With partners agree an outcome focused plan to improve the child's situation
  • Ensure a review process is set and 6 month time scales for review is understood
  • Ensure a date is set for the plan to be reviewed, arrange the review meeting and circulate any necessary papers/documents for this to take place effectively
  • Monitor and evaluate how well the plan is working and determine whether interventions are achieving the outcomes set for the child
  • Following the review, seek agreement on any changes required to the plan
  • The lead professional will be the key contact for the child / family for the purpose of discussing the content of the assessment and plan
  • Support the child and family to make the best use of services offered
  • All agencies will link directly with the lead professional to report on changes, updates or new information including the named person
  • Overall provide confident leadership and be familiar with the remit's of different agencies

Practitioners

The Getting it right for every child approach is based on solid foundations. There are ten core components and a set of values and principles which bring are relevant to everyone across the whole of children's services. They can be applied in any setting and circumstance where people are working with children and young people.