Free-Range Kids

Every Child in Scotland to Be Supervised by State-Appointed Busybody

True danger lies in the notion that the state should decide if you are parenting your kids correctly.



Imagine the very worst home a child could grow up in: No food in the fridge, parents strung out on drugs, the children covered with scabs and beaten regularly. You would want someone to step in and save the kids.

And then there's Scotland.

Scotland wants to treat all families as potentially abusive and appoint a "named person" (that is, a guardian) as soon as the child is born and up through age 18 to oversee the parenting. This "shadow parent" would be empowered by the government under the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act, which will take effect in 2016.

As Josie Appleton, founder of the U.K.'s Manifesto Club, writes in SpikedOnline:

It is based on the idea that a person who has been named by the state, touched on the shoulder, has a superior authority and insight to others. Those who have been 'named' are seen as better qualified to 'safeguard' the wellbeing of a whole nation's children. Therefore, concern for children's wellbeing becomes a state-appointed position.

…This is a new kind of parenting-by-surveillance.

The day-to-day role of a named person is to follow 'reports' about a child, to keep an eye on their files. They will have rights to see private medical reports, and to request information about that child from other agencies (there is a legal 'duty to help named person')…. The other aspect of a named person's role is to propose 'interventions'. They will have a role in drawing up a 'child's plan' if a child is found to have a 'wellbeing need': this plan will outline the 'targeted intervention which requires to be provided… in relation to the child'.

Therefore, in substance, the role of the named person is not actually to supplant the family, to state-raise children, but rather to insert a surveying, coercive authority – a spy – in the midst of every family.

Scottish child
Wikimedia Commons

This idea grows out of the conviction that Free-Range Kids (my bookblog, and movement), exists to extinguish: That all children are in danger at all times, and hence need constant oversight. Sometimes it's the police arresting a dad for letting his kids play outside, sometimes it's the police arresting a mom for letting her children walk to the pizza shop, and sometimes it's even the local library reporting a mom who let her kids, 12 and 15, walk home without coats on a night the authorities deemed too cold.

True danger lies in the notion that the state should decide if you are parenting your kids correctly. The care of your own children is not up to you.

For more stories like this one, check out Lenore Skenazy's Free-Range Kids blog.

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  1. I live in Scotland. Is that horrid piece of legislation back from the dead again. I can’t believe it. It will probably ensure a no vote on Independence all by itself.

  2. That is one of the most terrifying things I have ever read. The Scotts really have gone mad if they do this.

    1. I didn’t do it!

  3. What could possibly go wrong?

  4. I appwove of thith methage.

    /Mewitha Hewith-Pewwy

  5. Why stop when the child reaches 16-18?

    1. At 16, there is still a full decade until they reach 26!

    2. Probation officers.

  6. It would seem that England and Scotland are racing to see which of them will become Airstrip One the fastest.

  7. What the hell happened to Scotland? They are so far down the nanny-state rabbit hole, they make Michael Bloomberg look like Thomas Paine. Hell, they even make the English look sane.

    1. What the hell happened to Scotland?

      All the Scots worth a damn left long ago?

    2. “It shites being Scots! We’re the lowest of the low. We couldn’t even find a decent culture to be colonized by. Everyone hates the English, their a bunch o wankers, but we on the other hand were colonized by Wankers…” With apologies to Rent-Boy. I spent Xmas in Glasgow a few years ago (by accident) and I loved it. I hope this idiocy gets defeated…and can you imagine the money spent on these observors?

  8. Wow, just…… wow

  9. Why not just seize the kids from the mother at birth and put them in a staterun institution and be done with it?

    1. We could call these institutions public schools.

      1. Not in Scotland/England. They would be private schools.

    2. Because it’s cheaper this way. Let the parents do all the work and bear all the expense of raising children, but under state direction.

    3. because who really wants to change dirty diapers, potty train and clean up vomit from sick kids- that is why as long as they can get the parents to do all the hard dirty work and cook and clean for them- that is why- they just want to dictate their beliefs education and medical. all under the guise of “prevention and protection”

  10. Are they going to monitor the mother during pregnancy for drinking, smoking, etc, or is it her body her choice?

    1. It’s only her choice if she wants an abortion. Otherwise it is up to the State.

      1. Perhaps its time the state was destroyed. Governments have been destroyed by the people for much less.

    2. In more rational times, before the anti-tobacco hysteria began in earnest, women who smoked continued to smoke and enjoy other normal pleasures of life without guilt during their pregnancies. Many even smoked during labor to help them relax and take the edge off their pain. If their doctors mentioned smoking at all, it would be to advise them to perhaps cut down if they were heavy smokers, something which most did intuitively because they didn’t “feel” like smoking as much.

      1. But pity the poor Bolton smoker today who becomes pregnant, because she will be told that if she continues to smoke at all (or have any alcohol or caffeine) during her pregnancy, she is putting her developing fetus at high risk of death or disability.

        Nothing could be further from the truth.

        Though there is considerable evidence showing that on average the babies of women who smoke during pregnancy weigh on average a few ounces less than babies of women who do not smoke and that the rate of low birthweight babies is somewhat higher for smokers, there is no credible evidence for the hyperbolic claims that the babies of smokers have a higher mobidity and mortality rate. Quite the contrary, the babies of women who smoke during pregnancy have a better survival rate ounce for ounce, a somewhat lower rate of congenital defects, a lower rate of Down’s syndrome, a lower rate of infant respiratory distress syndrome and a somewhat lower rate of childhood cancer than do the babies of non-smokers.

        Dr. Richard L. Naeye, a leading obstetrical researcher who studied more than 58,000 pregnancies, states unequivocally:

        “We recently found no significant association between maternal smoking and either stillbirths or neonatal deaths when information about the underlying disorders, obtained from placental examinations, was incorporated into the analyses. Similar analyses found no correlation between maternal smoking and preterm birth.

        1. The most frequent initiating causes of preterm birth, stillbirth, and neonatal death are acute chorioamnionitis, disorders that produce chronic low blood flow from the uterus to the placenta, and major congenital malformations. There is no credible evidence that cigarette smoking has a role in the genesis of any of these disorders.”

  11. “I’ve come to read and hear many unlikely things about the times when people lived in freedom, i.e., the unorganized savage state. But the most unlikely thing, it seems to me, is this: how could the olden day governmental power – primitive though it was – have allowed people to live without anything like our Table, without the scheduled walks, without the precise regulation of mealtimes, getting up and going to bed whenever it occurred to them? Various historians even say that, apparently, in those times, light burned in the streets all night long, and all night long, people rode and walked the streets. This I just cannot comprehend in any way. Their faculties of reason may not have been developed, but they must have understood more broadly that living like that amounted to mass murder – literally – only it was committed slowly, day after day. The State (humaneness) forbade killing to death any one person but didn’t forbid the half-killing of millions. To kill a man, that is, to decrease the sum of a human life span by fifty years – this was criminal. But decreasing the sum of many humans’ lives by fifty million years – this was not criminal. Isn’t that funny?”

    1. ^This is what ‘Tony’ actually believes.

  12. No true Scotsman would support legislation such as this.

    1. YES

  13. Scotland wants to treat all families as potentially abusive and appoint a “named person” (that is, a guardian) as soon as the child is born and up through age 18 to oversee the parenting. This “shadow parent” would be empowered by the government under the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act, which will take effect in 2016.

    Somewhere, deep the black bowels of the dark fortress on the island of doom known as MSNBC, Melissa Harris-Perry is masturbating furiously to this news.

  14. Scotland the…..Pussies!
    I need a new song to hum.

  15. Who will police the government nannies?

    1. They are the community. They will police themselves because they are morally and intellectually more evolved than us mere mortals.

  16. Isn’t Scotland the red-headed stepchild of Europe?

    And didn’t Scots used to fight for “Freedom!”?

  17. This sums up everything about Scotland.

  18. What would William Wallace say?

  19. That’s pretty scary.

  20. The logical conclusion is children informing to the State on the activities (real or imagined) of the parents. Orwell would say, “I told you so.”

  21. It’s only logical that to protect the child’s mental health (political views) all reading material must be approved.

  22. That’s really scary. This kind of nanny intrusion into family life is another very good reason to not have kids.

  23. This isn’t Nanny over the top. This is where parents start shooting government officials………….

  24. More government involvement will equate more oppression. While we’re at it, let’s start chipping the kids, better yet, might as well surrender all children at birth for the ‘best interest’ (of the Industry.) Inability to parent one’s own child without the eyes of a social-worker monitoring and imposing their belief system on individuals? A recipe for disaster that only the indoctrinated could possibly accept as a positive move.

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