Update of the current IICSA investigations

 

Investigation Current position
Cambridge House, Knowl View and Rochdale On 12 April 2018 the IICSA published its report. The Panel provided an Executive Summary and drew a number of  the conclusions. The Inquiry made no recommendations because they will be considering evidence that is relevant to the protection of children in the care of local authorities in the outstanding local authority as well as in some of the thematic investigation. They consider they will then be better placed to make overarching recommendations. Despite this, the Inquiry expect the public bodies involved in this investigation to reflect on their report and make changes to their practice as necessary to protect children in the future. See our earlier blog for details of the report’s conclusions: https://blmabusenewsblog.com/2018/04/12/iicsas-second-report-cambridge-house-knowl-view-and-rochdale/.
Child Sexual Exploitation by Organised Networks The Inquiry is not accepting applications for Core Participant (CP) status or requesting evidence currently.

The Inquiry is encouraging all victims and survivors of child sexual abuse to share their experience.

Accountability and Reparations A preliminary hearing took place on 8 May 2018 to provide an update on the latest developments.

Since the last preliminary hearing IICSA has granted CP status to four victim/survivors from St Aidan’s, another victim/survivor for Forde Park and another victim/survivor for Stanhope Castle.  In total there are now 41 CP victims and survivors across the case study institutions.  26 finalised statements have now been received.  It has been reiterated that the investigation will not examine or resolve disputed factual issues relating to the underlying abuse.

IICSA’s proposals for the focus of the w case studies are:

  • North Wales Children’s Homes –  civil litigation
  • Forde Park –  the overall management of the Forde Park civil litigation, and the litigation process itself, in particular how the claims were settled and how that settlement was perceived by the victims and survivors
  • St Leonard’s – as per Forde Park
  • St Aidan’s and St Vincent’s –  the process of civil litigation, in particular limitation, and how this impacted on the experiences of victims and survivors
  • Stanhope Castle –  knowledge of and access to civil litigation and criminal compensation (from the CICA).

A further and final preliminary hearing has been listed for 25 September 2018 to deal with any outstanding matters ahead of the public hearings which run from 26 November to 13 December 2018.

Children in Custodial Institutions Public hearings were held in July 2018 for 2 weeks. The investigation examined the prevalence and culture of child sexual abuse in custody as well as the institutional responses to those allegations. The current safeguarding and child protection policies were also  examined. During the hearings a selection of allegations of recent sexual abuse were analysed in relation to Her Majesty’s Young Offender Institutions at Feltham and Werrington; Medway and Rainsbrook Secure Training Centres; Vinney Green Secure Unit; and Aycliffe Secure Centre.

A report on this phase of the investigation is expected in early 2019.

The Internet A week of public hearings was held from 22-26 January 2018.

Applications will be requested for more CPs in due course. As the investigation is currently narrowly focused to consider the response of law enforcement agencies no internet specific organisation is a CP.

Investigation into the Institutional Responses to Allegations of Child Sexual Abuse involving the late Lord Janner of Braunstone QC In April 2017 the Inquiry published a Notice of Determination and revised the scope of this investigation. IICSA does not wish to prejudice the investigation by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) and Leicestershire Police.

No further updates.

Children in the Care of Nottinghamshire Councils A second preliminary hearing was held on 31 January 2018.

The public hearings start on 1 October 2018.

There are currently 90 CPs including 83 individuals who allege that they were sexually abused whilst in the care of Nottinghamshire Councils.

Child Sexual Abuse in the Anglican Church The first public hearing in relation to the Chichester Diocese case study was held in  March 2018. There were twenty themes and issues being considered.

A hearing in connection with the Peter Ball case study was held last week.

A further public hearing relating the wider Anglican Church will proceed in 2019.

Child Sexual Abuse in Residential Schools Currently no CPs designated but applications are likely to be called for in September 2018. In its interim report IICSA identified it does not intend to name specific school led case studies but rather to consider themes across schools including governance, reporting and whistleblowing, recruitment and termination of employment, inspection and monitoring, and culture
Allegations of Child Sexual Abuse Linked to Westminster Three weeks of public hearings will take place from 4 March 2019.
Protection of Children Outside the UK The Panel’s report, it’s first on all of its investigations, into the Child Migration Case Study was published on 1 March 2108.  See our previous blog for details of the recommendations made: https://blmabusenewsblog.com/2018/03/27/iicsas-first-report/.

The second case study in this investigation is examining whether the civil framework is adequate for preventing, and notifying foreign authorities of, foreign travel by individuals known to the UK authorities as posing a risk to children. A public hearing on this case study will take place in February 2019.

Children in the Care of Lambeth Council Preliminary hearings were held in this investigation in March and July 2016.

IICSA are reviewing vast quantities of information before a public hearing is scheduled. It has recently sought submissions from CPs on proposals for the investigation to focus on three case studies on the following homes: Angell Road, Southvale Assessment Centre and Shirley Oaks

Child Sexual Abuse in the Roman Catholic Church Further public hearings relating to the Archdiocese of Birmingham case study will take place from 12-16 November 2018.

Public hearings relating to the Ealing Abbey case study will commence on 4 February 2019.

Initial hearings which focused on the Benedictine Order, in particular at Ampleforth and Downside were held in November 2017. The report in connection with those hearings will be published on 9 August 2018.


MIRIAMAuthored by Miriam Rahamim, BLM

Publication of IICSA’s Interim Report: 25 April 2018

IICSA have announced the publication of its Interim Report on Thursday 25 April 2018, which will be available from 12:00 noon on the Inquiry’s website. Continue reading

IICSA’s Second Report – Cambridge House, Knowl View and Rochdale

Today IICSA published its report into Cambridge House, Knowl View and Rochdale.

The report is split into seven parts: Introduction, Cambridge House, Knowl View School, Police Investigations, Political Accountability, Other Institutions and Conclusions. Continue reading

Support Services for survivors

As reported last week the Royal Commission has published its final and lengthy report. It covers many subjects, themes and organisations and in the next few weeks there will be further commentary on this blog about some of those topics and crucially the recommendations made.

One theme which has run through the work of the Royal Commission has been that of redress. Two years ago a redress scheme was recommended and it has now, in an amended version, been approved in principle to take effect from 1 July 2018. Redress means many different things to different people. As Lambeth Borough Council sought yesterday, amid some confrontation, to approve a scheme which seeks to make the path to redress simpler, it is clear that it is by no means straightforward to achieve. Shirley Oaks Survivors Association (SOSA) retweeted a range of negative comments about the scheme which had taken over a year to draft and had had significant input into it from SOSA itself and its legal team. Yet it still remained the subject of damning criticism from some.

One issue which will always be a challenge is how to assess a monetary value in compensation for the abuse and its consequences. The Royal Commission recommended a scheme with maximum payments of A$200,000 (£114,760); the Australian Government Scheme implementing the Royal Commission recommendations will award up to a maximum of A$150,000 (£86,070); the Lambeth Scheme has a maximum payment of £125,000; the Northern Ireland recommendations which have made no progress since being published in January 2017 were for payments of up to £100,000. These are maximum payments for the most severe abuse. These may or may not be life changing sums of money, for some whatever the sum it is the recognition of the harm done which is what the money represents and for others no sum however big or small will compensate for what happened and what the consequences of the abuse have been. No matter what approach an organisation takes in assessing a monetary value for redress it is likely it will not be considered right by all victims and survivors. Making that assessment can be very difficult for all involved and a clear and easy formula for making a fair assessment which could be understood and applied by all is needed and remains elusive.

The Royal Commission’s 2015 report concluded that redress should include not just monetary payments but also a direct personal response as well as counselling and psychological care. The final report has expanded the response to victims and survivors to include the provision of a much wider, integrated and cohesive range of support services. Those recommendations include that there be a dedicated system of community-based support services which provides advocacy and support, including counselling and case management. The creation of a national service to assist victims and survivors understand the legal options and navigate the legal system is proposed, along with a national telephone helpline and website to provide information and assistance. The national service should, the Royal Commission concludes, be funded by the Australian Government and provide advice including about accessing, amending and annotating records and options for initiating police, civil litigation or redress processes. It will be interesting to see which of these recommendations are effected and which will be similarly recommended by the inquiries in England and Wales and Scotland when they in due course report on redress and support for survivors.


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Written by Paula Jefferson, partner and head of abuse and neglect at BLM.

Shirley Oaks and Redress

The Shirley Oaks Survivors Association (SOSA) has today published its report regarding abuse of children in care at Shirley Oaks. Lambeth Council has indicated that it will make a payment to all residents irrespective of whether or not they were abused, with greater sums for those who did suffer sexual abuse.

Continue reading

A snapshot of progress of the IICSA

The next three hearings of the IICSA proceeded on 27 July giving more clarification about the investigations in to the Anglican Church; Lambeth Council; and Rochdale, Cambridge House and Knowl View. An overview of their progress is as follows:

Lambeth – “the scale of the disclosure exercise is genuinely enormous.” In addition to the CHILE (a previous inquiry) archive there are 100,000 items in the “Restore” archive (mostly children’s files), and 26,000 further boxes of material. Continue reading