Scottish child abuse inquiry to begin foster care hearings in May

The Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry will begin hearing evidence into the abuse of children in foster care in May.

During the first phase of the foster care case study, which will begin on May 3, the inquiry will hear evidence from relevant experts and regulatory bodies to provide context and scene setting.

Over the course of part two, which will start in late May, it will hear from people who experienced abuse in foster care as well as from a range of other witnesses.

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The public hearings will also include evidence in relation to children who were boarded out.

Inquiry chair, judge Lady Smith.Inquiry chair, judge Lady Smith.
Inquiry chair, judge Lady Smith.

The Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry (SCAI) said that foster care is a substantial case study and is expected to run for several months, finishing in the autumn.

Hearings will take place at the SCAI premises in Edinburgh, with some evidence taken from witnesses in person and some via video link.

The inquiry, chaired by senior judge Lady Smith, aims to raise public awareness of the abuse of children in care, is considering evidence up to December 17 2014, and which is within the living memory of any person who suffered abuse.

It has previously heard from former private school pupils and children’s home residents about the abuse they suffered at some of the country’s best-known establishments.

Other schools, many run by churches, also fell under the scope of the inquiry.

In November Lady Smith said that Marist Brothers in positions of trust at St Columba’s College, Largs, and St Joseph’s College, Dumfries, “violated their monastic vows” and “breached the trust of children and their families”.

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