Historical abuse

Here at CELCIS, we have over a decade of experience working alongside survivors, service care providers, historical service providers and Scottish Government. We do this so that we can find ways to collectively right the wrongs of historical abuse of children in care.

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 mutual respect for others.

Inquiry engagement events

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're working with partners on the Reclaiming Lost Childhood Project to develop a database of residential care services from the past. This will help adult care leavers access their childhood information and 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:


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

Visit the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry website.

If you are a survivor and need further information or support please contact In Care Survivor Service Scotland on 0800 121 6027. 


CELCIS response to in-care survivor service petition

Response outlining CELCIS view on Petition PE1596, which calls on the Scottish Parliament to protect the In Care Survivor Service Scotland

Case Study

Ending Violence Against Children: Six Strategies for Action

Case studies illustrating how prevention and response strategies can reduce the prevalence and impact of violence against children.


A long journey to justice

A blog by Moyra Hawthorn detailing a decade striving for justice.

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