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Published, 27 June 2018

Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry extended

The Scottish Government has agreed to revise the terms of reference to extend the timescale of the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry after a request from its chairwoman, senior judge Lady Smith.

The independent Inquiry had been due to report back to Ministers on the historical abuse of children in residential care in Scotland within four years of the Inquiry being established, which was in October 2015. That timescale has now changed in order to give a fuller examination of the Inquiry’s remit.

In a letter to Deputy First Minister, John Swinney, Judge Lady Smith highlighted:

“Investigations thus far have identified over 70 institutions relevant to our task. I anticipate that further institutions will be identified as our investigations progress.

“A large number of applicants have come forward and continue to do so.”

Lady Smith was appointed as chairwoman of the inquiry in 2016 and is the sole member of its panel, following the resignations of three previous panel members.

Agreeing to Lady Smith’s request to update the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry terms of reference, Deputy First Minister John Swinney said:

“It is clear the Inquiry is working hard and good progress is already evident. A large number of applicants have already come forward and continue to do so, it is vital that the Inquiry hears from as many survivors and witnesses as possible...

“It takes considerable courage for survivors to approach the inquiry and talk about their experiences of being in care as children. By raising awareness of historic abuse they are helping to uncover the nature and extent of the issue and the failings which allowed it to happen.”

Anyone wishing to contact the inquiry should call 0800 0929 300 or email:

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