POLICE have warned of a "lack of clarity" over flagship government plans for every Scottish child to have a state-appointed guardian.

As key stakeholders thrash out how the scheme should be implemented, the new national force signalled concerns about how it will share sensitive information about youngsters with so-called Named Persons.

Starting next summer, these officials - usually teachers or health visitors - will have a formal responsibility for the welfare of specific children in their care, including access to threats to their safety.

In a formal entry in to its corporate risk register, the national force, which supports the Named Person scheme, highlighted complications in how it could pass on such information.

It said: "Police Scotland does not currently have a consistent process on how such risk and concerns are identified, triaged managed and shared.

"In the absence of a national functioning Named Person Service, there is a concern that partners do not have efficient or secure systems in place to receive and manage such notifications."

Police are traditionally nervous about sharing such information, although they can and do have information-sharing protocols with other agencies.

The document, put before the force's ruling board, the Scottish Police Authority, sets out proposals to mitigate against this risk, which it ranks as "high" with potential financial and reputational implications.

The force, in the same paper, also highlights two other concerns over the legislation, the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act.

The first is that children and young people will have named persons until they are 18, many of whom will be dealt with by adult courts as opposed to the children's hearing system.

The risk register said: "This is a significant change for all authorities, including PS and requires a review of all interdependent policies and processes which impact/refer to children and young people to ensure cognisance of legislative change."

Police Scotland also highlighted what it described as "a lack of clarity" over exactly what exactly it means for chief constable Sir Stephen House to be categorised as a "corporate parent" under the law.

This is part of the new law that is designed to offer support to young people who have been in care right up to their 26th birthdays.

Detective Chief Superintendent Lesley Boal, the officer leading on public protection issues, stressed that police did not oppose the legislation and that the force was looking at ways of overcoming complications highlighted in the risk register.

She said: "Police Scotland is supportive of the concept of the 'named person'.

"There are already established local protocols for the sharing of concerns, and identifying those children who are at risk of harm.

"We have, in addition, been working closely with Scottish Government and a broad range of local partners, such as local authorities and health boards to establish clear practice and protocols for sharing concerns in readiness for the commencement of this part of the Act."

Much of the opposition to the Named Persons scheme and the wider Getting It Right for Every Child or Girfec strategy has come from rightist or faith-based groups who see the proposals as an attempt to undermine parental rights.

However, the police are just the latest serious organisation to raise practical issues that they believe should be ironed out as the legislation is phased in.

Half of organisations who took part in a government consultation raised data protection concerns on sharing child information.

A government spokeswoman said: "There are many reasons why a child, at some point in his or her life, might become vulnerable and a family need more support. That is why the Scottish Parliament passed legislation to help ensure concerns can be identified early and acted upon as appropriate."

"We are now considering the independent analysis of the consultation responses, what people told us about the draft guidance and what more we should do to ensure those working with children get the guidance they need to implement Girfec effectively. Police Scotland, working in partnership with the Scottish Government, is taking a timely and sensible approach in assessing how it will fulfil its responsibilities under the Act."