An update on the Scottish Childhood Abuse Inquiry

The Scottish Childhood Abuse Inquiry (SCAI) resumed hearing evidence on 11 January 2022, with the focus on Merchiston Castle School as part of the Boarding Schools case study. The next part of this study will be closing submissions, probably at the end of February 2022.

The next evidence, likely to be heard in March 2022, will relate to SCAI’s work on the prevention of the abuse of children in care, comprising expert witness evidence on the psychology of those who commit such abuse. These experts will give their evidence together in a group, probably over two days.

In May 2022, SCAI will begin hearing evidence on the abuse of children in foster care. This evidence will include children who were boarded out, as well as children who were placed in foster care by a Scottish local authority. Part one of the foster care case study will feature evidence from relevant experts, foster care providers and regulatory bodies to provide context. SCAI will then hear evidence on experiences in foster care, followed by a range of other witnesses. It is expected that this case study will last for several months, with the inquiry still reaching out to potential witnesses at this time.

It remains to be seen whether SCAI will arrange any further phases of evidence after the foster care one with no announcement on any such further phases yet.

From its inception in October 2015 to 31 December 2021, SCAI had cost £51,655,410.

Frank Hughes, Partner and Fiona McEwan, Associate

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