No matter where they live or whatever their needs, children, young people and their families should always know where they can find help, what support might be available and whether that help is right for them.
As a carer/parent of a child you have a responsibility to ensure that your child is safe, healthy, active, nurtured, achieving, respected, responsible and included. To help you do this you already have access to Health professionals and those within Early Years Centres and Schools to advise and assist you. You may also have people within your community, such as friends, clubs etc that can also help you to meet the needs of your child.
However, there may be times where you may need additional help and it is important for you to know that your child, in fact, every child who hasn't started Primary 1 yet, has a 'Named Person' within Health Services. They will be your point of contact if you need any advice, have concerns or require help for your child.
If your child is over five and at an early years centre or school etc, there will be someone with a similar role within education who has responsibility for supporting your child and responding to their needs. These concerns may be about bullying, behaviour issues, emotional issues, how they are coping with homework, or something that's changed at home. In some cases, the person you contact may need to bring in additional help and support - they will always involve you and your child in any plans.
You should contact your child's Named person or Health Education if you want advice or someone to discuss concerns with. This person may also have identified concerns themselves and they will take action to help, or arrange for the right help to be put in place by someone else if they feel this is appropriate.
How do I know who this is and how do I contact them?
It has been agreed in North Ayrshire that your contact will be:-
- Your Health Visitor from Birth till they enter Primary school. (Primary 1)
- Your Family Nurse from Birth till they enter Primary school (Primary 1) if the mother is a teenager.
- When your child starts school (Primary 1), the school will have identified someone who is best placed to respond to your child's needs.
If however, you believe that your child is in danger or at risk of harm, you should call your nearest Social Services Department or the Police if appropriate.
You can contact your child's Named Person in Health or Education if you need to discuss concerns. They will listen to you and take the appropriate action. This may involve consulting with others if appropriate and therefore you should allow time for this to happen before the right support is identified for your child.
The person you contact may also decide that other agencies need to come together to either assess what your child needs, or that another agency may be better placed to provide the right support. If this is the case, one of the professionals involved in the assessment of your child's needs, or providing support, will coordinate the support your child requires.