News

Invitation to tender for a newly defined In Care Survivor Support Service Fund

1 October 2015

Following the recommendations of the Scottish Human Rights Interaction’ Plan on Historical Abuse of Children in Care the Scottish Government made a commitment to develop an In Care Survivor Support Fund Service. We are now seeking organisations to consider the service specification accompanying this letter and tender for the service contract. This tender will be funded via grant arrangements. This opportunity will be advertised as widely as possible to relevant organisations. The closing date for return of bids for the tender is 1700 on Friday 6th November 2015. Please note there will no extension to this deadline Please see http://www.survivorscotland.org.uk/current-future-priorities/in-care-survivor-support-fund-service/

Independent Inquiry into Historical Abuse of Children in Care formally starts work

1 October 2015

Education Secretary Angela Constance welcomed the start of the statutory national public Inquiry into historical abuse of children in care today. Susan O’Brien QC, an experienced advocate with a wealth of experience, is Chair of the Inquiry. Recruitment has begun for panel members and expert assessors to assist her. Ms Constance said: “Today is an important landmark for all of those who have campaigned for an independent national Inquiry with statutory powers to compel witnesses. “To mark the official start of the Inquiry today, Ms O’Brien has outlined the work that she and her team have already begun and how they will take this momentous Inquiry forward. “I want to reiterate my gratitude to all survivors and their supporters who have helped us reach this point. Their willingness to recount such painful experiences was vitally important in helping us set a remit that would deliver the justice they rightly deserve. It is also in response to their guidance that I have said that the Inquiry will report back within four years of this start date. “Many of those who have championed this Inquiry have been campaigning a long time and I want to reassure them that they will see it conclude within a reasonable timeframe. Getting here has been a challenge and there is still a long way to go, but I am confident we have taken the time to allow the Chair to lay the foundations of an Inquiry that will allow us as a society to right historic wrongs.” The Inquiry will examine any instance where a child was abused ‘in care’, at institutions including residential care provided by faith based organisations; children’s homes and secure care. The scope will also include those placed in foster care. For the purposes of the Inquiry the term ‘in care’ will carry a broader interpretation beyond those formally placed in care by the state. It will include allegations of abuse affecting boarded out children; child migrant schemes; and school hostels and health care establishments providing long term care for children. Independent boarding schools will also be included. The Cabinet Secretary added: “When announcing the Chair in July I also committed to establish a dedicated support fund for survivors of abuse who were placed in care by the state. This will enable survivors to identify their own personal goals and access the right support to achieve them. Work on this is underway with £13.5 million allocated over the next five years to develop a dedicated in care support service. An additional £1 million is also being used to enhance the support available to all who were abused as children, regardless of the setting, through the SurvivorScotland development fund. “I also made it clear that it is our intention to lift the 3 year time-bar on civil actions in cases of historical child abuse for cases after 1964. The consultation on this proposal recently closed and we are now reflecting on the responses.”

National Confidential Forum Head Appointment

13 July 2015

The National Confidential Forum is looking to appoint a Head Could you play a vital role in acknowledging the experiences of adults who were placed in institutional care as children in Scotland, including survivors of abuse? The National Confidential Forum started hearings in February 2015. The Forum gives people who were placed in a residential care or health service as children the opportunity to share their experiences through a confidential, supportive and non-judgmental process. The Head will be expected to devote up to four days a week to the work of the Forum. This will be subject to demand for hearings and could increase or decrease. The appointment will last for up to two years. The post is based in Glasgow but is likely to include some travel to other parts of Scotland. For more information about this role and how to apply, please see the attached advert.

Scottish Government Consultation on the Removal of the 3 Year Limitation Period From Civil Actions for Damages For Personal Injury for in Care Survivors of Historical Child Abuse

9 July 2015

The Scottish Government has engaged with survivors of historical child abuse and a number of key stakeholders as part of the response to the InterAction Action Plan recommendation to “review the way in which time bar operates”. The circumstances of survivors of in care child abuse are sufficiently different from other cases involving personal injury to warrant a different approach to time-bar for those raising a civil action for damages in the Scottish courts. The Scottish Government therefore intends to remove the 3 year limitation period for civil actions in cases of historical childhood abuse that took place after 26 September 1964. A consultation on the removal of the 3 year limitation period from civil actions for damages for personal injury for in care survivors of historical child abuse has now been published and will run until Friday 18 September 2015.

NATIONAL INQUIRY INTO HISTORICAL CHILD ABUSE

30 January 2015

The Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning, Angela Constance, on behalf of the Scottish Government made a Parliamentary statement on 17 December 2014 announcing the Governments’ intention to hold a National Inquiry into Historical Child Abuse. This also set out a commitment to engage with Survivors and relevant organisations to seek views on the Terms of Reference of the Inquiry, as well as the attributes of the Chair and Panel. On the 29 January 2015, the Scottish Government invited survivors and relevant organisations to offer their views on the terms of reference and attributes of the Chair and Panel for the National Inquiry into Historical Child Abuse. Many people have already said that they think a national inquiry is needed. They have made suggestions for its potential scope and what it should seek to achieve. We will take those views into account but we want to reach as many other people as possible. Survivors and relevant organisations as well as the general public can now write or email their views to the Scottish Government by contacting survivorengagement More information on the Inquiry, including details of these local and regional events, can be found on the dedicated section on the Scottish Government website: www.scotland.gov.uk/historicalchildabuse

Inquiry into institutional child abuse

17 December 2014

The Scottish Government has announced a statutory public inquiry into historical abuse of children. The full remit and appointments for the inquiry will be confirmed by the end of April, following consultation with survivors of abuse. Arrangements for meetings with survivors and other stakeholders will begin in January. We have prepared a short question and answer note and will update this as more information becomes available. We have also set up an email address for survivor engagement. E-mail: Survivor.Engagement@scotland.gsi.gov.uk

Report On Good Practice Guidance Consultation Events

3 December 2014

These events gave participants the opportunity to hear more about the Forum and how it may impact on the work of service providers and purchasers. Participants also heard from service providers about how particular organisations respond to former residents now. Participants were given the opportunity to contribute to the drafting of the Good Practice Guidance. See enclosed Report. Appendices to this report can be viewed from National Confidential Forum- Good Practice Guidance section

Report On Good Practice Guidance Consultation Events

3 December 2014

These events gave participants the opportunity to hear more about the Forum and how it may impact on the work of service providers and purchasers. Participants also heard from service providers about how particular organisations respond to former residents now. Participants were given the opportunity to contribute to the drafting of the Good Practice Guidance.

Scottish Human Rights Interaction

6 November 2014

Scottish Human Rights InterAction – the Scottish Government has issued a response to the recommendations in the Action Plan. The Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning and the Minister for Public Health, the Minister for Community Safety and Legal Affairs and the Minister for Children and Young People attended the Scottish Human Rights Commission InterAction Recall Day on 27 October. The Cabinet Secretary’s speaking note and the Government response are attached.

Survivors Meeting with Ministers 13 August 2014

7 October 2014

MEETING WITH THE MINISTER FOR PUBLIC HEALTH, MINISTER FOR COMMUNITY SAFETY AND LEGAL AFFAIRS AND MINISTER FOR CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE TO DISCUSS ISSUES ON HISTORIC CHILD ABUSE - 13 AUGUST 2014