Organisations who believe they may hold records relating to abuse of children care are asked to take immediate steps to preserve them and inform the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry before Tuesday 31st May 2016.
The Inquiry (previously known as the Historical Child Abuse Inquiry) was established on 1st October 2015. The Inquiry’s Terms of Reference cover that period which is within living memory of any person who suffered abuse as a child whilst in care. The abuse must have taken place not beyond 17th December 2014.
The Inquiry will seek to recover records which relate to matters within its Terms of Reference.
The term “children in care” is widely defined in the Terms of Reference, and includes children in residential schools, long term residents in healthcare establishments, children in secure accommodation, and children in foster care, in addition to children in institutional residential care.
“Abuse” is also widely defined, and includes primarily physical or sexual abuse, but the definition does not exclude other forms of abuse (such as emotional abuse or neglect).
The Inquiry will be interested in records relating to any legal responsibilities which organisations may have or have had in relation to children in care. The Inquiry may also be interested in records relating to the ongoing effects of abuse for victims and their families.
These categories of records are provided by way of example and do not represent an exhaustive list.
The Inquiry has statutory powers to compel the production of records, even where those records could otherwise be withheld on data protection grounds. Organisations should consider carefully the nature of their work (including work they no longer carry out) and whether it may be relevant to any of the matters covered by the Terms of Reference.
For further information, or to inform the Inquiry of any records held, please contact Felicity Cullen by email: Felicity.firstname.lastname@example.org or Neil MacFarlane by email: Neil.email@example.com
Alternatively, please visit the Child Abuse Inquiry website.