Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Angela Constance defends the scope of the child abuse inquiry

"A Scottish government minister has defended its inquiry into child abuse after survivors' groups called for its remit to be extended."

"Campaigners have claimed institutions such as the Catholic Church and Boy Scouts could be `let off the hook`. "

"But Education Secretary Angela Constance said the scope of the inquiry was `very far reaching`."

"And she said religious organisations were covered when they had looked after children in a residential capacity..."

"But survivors' organisations, who are due to meet Ms Constance on Thursday, have called for its remit to be extended amid claims that institutions such as the Catholic Church would be excluded from its investigations."

"Speaking ahead of the meeting, Ms Constance told the BBC's Good Morning Scotland programme that `religious organisations and orders are included in the inquiry where they have looked after children in a residential capacity`..."

" `We want to ensure that survivors don't actually lose hope and that the inquiry will report back within a reasonable timescale - we have set four years - and actually be able to make clear and meaningful recommendations`..."

"The inquiry's remit currently allows it to investigate cases of children being abused while in institutional care `within living memory` up to December 2014. "

"It classes `in care` as being: "
"Children's homes (including residential care provided by faith based groups);
Secure care units including List D schools;
Borstals and Young Offenders' Institutions;
Places provided for Boarded Out children in the Highlands and Islands;
State, private and independent Boarding Schools, including state funded school hostels;
Healthcare establishments providing long term care, and any similar establishments intended to provide children with long term residential care.
Children in foster care."
"But it does not cover children who were abused while living with their natural or adoptive families, while using sports and leisure clubs or attending faith based organisations on a day to day basis."

"The inquiry will also not examine allegations of children being abused in non-boarding schools, nursery or day-care centres..." [That rules out the Hollie Greig case then.]

"The inquiry has been instructed to publish its report and make its recommendations by October 2019 - four years after it was established."

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