Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry: first phase of public hearings

The first part of the first phase of public hearings at the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry (SCAI) will start on 31 May and end no later than 20 July. The second part of that first phase will resume in Autumn 2017.

The SCAI was set up on 1 October 2015, with a remit to report within four years on abuse of children in care for the period within living memory to 17 December 2014. The inquiry is concerned not only with in-care abuse which took place in Scotland but also abuse of those who, as children, were migrated from Scotland.

Details of the scope and purpose of the first phase hearings have now been released. We summarise those as follows:

  • Expert witnesses: experts will give evidence about: the legislative and regulatory framework of children in care in Scotland to 1968; the early development of care services in Scotland; societal attitudes towards children; and the nature and prevalence of child abuse in Scotland.
  • Government’s role: evidence will be given on behalf of the Scottish Government on the nature, extent and development of the State’s areas of responsibility for children in residential and foster care in Scotland.
  • Faith-based organisations and large care providers: 10 faith-based organisations and three large care providers of residential and foster care will be called to give evidence on their history and governance and whether there is any retrospective acknowledgement of abuse.
  • Survivors groups: evidence will be heard on the background, development, purpose and work of survivor groups.


Written by Frank Hughes and Siobhan Kelly, BLM

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