Historical abuse

Here at CELCIS, we have over a decade of experience working alongside survivors, a range of organisations who in the past or currently provide child care services and the Scottish Government. We do this so that we can work together with survivors in their journey towards acknowledgment and accountability.

Action Plan for Justice for Victims of Historic Abuse of Children in Care

Between 2012 and 2014 we worked in partnership with Scottish Human Rights Commission (SHRC) through an InterAction process to develop the Action Plan for Justice for Victims of Historic Abuse of Children in Care. During this time we successfully managed to build and maintain valuable, trusting, working relationships. For the first time we were able to bring survivors, service providers and representatives of various religions around the table, building opportunities for effective dialogue.

Inquiry engagement event

In 2014-15, we played a key role in supporting the Scottish Government's preliminary groundwork for the Inquiry into Historical Abuse of Children in Care. The inquiry is chaired by the Rt Hon Lady Smith. We were asked by the Scottish Government to design and facilitate an Inquiry Engagement process ahead of the launch of the Inquiry itself. We organised and facilitated nine events for survivors and three events for care providers and other agencies. The purpose was to invite contributions about the Inquiry's terms of reference, including the attributes of the Inquiry chair and panel. Participants' views on the time bar, a survivor support fund and commemoration were also invited.

Recommendations made by the SHRC Action Plan form the basis of the Scottish Government's commitments to address the needs of survivors.

Our work on historical abuse

  • The SHRC Action Plan has a number of strands of ongoing work and we're continuing to collaborate, support and monitor progress.
  • We worked with a range of partners on the Reclaiming Lost Childhood Project, a series of workshops over the course of 2013 to explore and understand the barriers and issues in tracing information and accessing records.
  • We're members of the international Historical Abuse Inquiry Network.
  • We present at international conferences.
  • We publish widely on this topic, sharing evidence and insights.

Useful reports on historical abuse

Our evaluation and research coupled with our face-to-face consultations has produced a series of reports including:


Estelle Carmichael, Professor Andy Kendrick, and Moyra Hawthorn have been central to our work on historical abuse. Get in touch with our team to find out more information or talk to us about our work.

If you are a survivor further information on national initiatives can be found here:

National Confidential Forum

Future Pathways Scotland's In care survivor support fund

Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry.

Immediate help

If you become upset and you need immediate help, please contact one of the following support services:

Breathing Space
Breathing Space is a free, confidential phone and web based service for people in Scotland.
Helpline: 0800 83 85 87
Monday to Friday: 6pm – 2am
Friday to Monday: 6pm – 6am

Samaritans offers support round the clock.
Helpline: 08457 90 90 90
24 hours a day, 365 days a year