Research Reports

Reports commissioned by the Inquiry

The Inquiry has commissioned a number of experts to provide reports on issues relating to its Terms of Reference. These are described in brief below. Links to the actual reports will be added as they become available.

 

The Nature and Prevalence of Child Abuse: Professor Lorraine Radford (Connect Centre for Research on Interpersonal Violence and Harm, University of Central Lancashire)

Professor Radford has provided the Inquiry with a Report on the nature and prevalence (or extent) of child abuse in high-income countries generally and in Scotland in particular. The Report:

(1) Investigates the nature and prevalence of child abuse in high-income countries, both overall and in relation to children in care.

(2) Investigates the nature and prevalence of child abuse in the UK generally and in Scotland in particular, both overall and in relation to children in care.

(3) Identifies any significant gaps in the existing published research and how any such gaps could be addressed.

Professor Radford’s Report identified high-quality, peer-reviewed literature on the nature and prevalence of child abuse:

- in high-income countries;

- in the UK generally; and,

- in Scotland in particular.

The material has been systematically assessed to ensure that only relevant work of suitable quality is included. A narrative analysis of the findings has been written, organised around key themes which emerged as most relevant to answering the research questions.

 

You can read the Executive Summary of Professor Radford's report here.

The full report can be found here.

 

 

Review of Societal Attitudes of Children: Dr Susan Elsley (Independent Policy Analyst and Researcher)

Dr Elsley is to provide the Inquiry with a Report which describes societal attitudes towards children from 1900 to 2014. In particular, the Report will:

(1) Describe if and how attitudes towards children have changed over time.

(2) Consider the nature of those changes.

(3) Consider relevant issues such as the age and development stage of children, the splitting up of families/separation of siblings and understanding amongst professionals of changing attitudes towards children.

Dr Elsley’s Report will consider a wide range of publications (such as academic publications, other formal reports and inquiries and other published accounts or evidence) in describing if, and how, attitudes towards children have changed over time. It will also seek to discover what evidence is available of children’s experiences of residential care and whether this has been previously analysed. The Report will build on work previously carried out by Dr Elsley for the Historical Abuse Systemic Review, published by the Scottish Government in 2007.

 

 

The Development of Care Services in Scotland: Professor Andrew Kendrick (School of Social Work & Social Policy, University of Strathclyde)

Professor Kendrick is to provide the Inquiry with a Report which describes the development of child care services in Scotland from 1900 to 2014. In particular, the Report will:

(1) Describe the establishment, evolution and nature of specific forms of care settings and how these changed over the period under review.

(2) Detail the development of policy and practice in care settings and the regulatory framework which governs them.

(3) Explore in more detail critical aspects of the development of care services for children in Scotland.

Professor Kendrick’s Report will examine the changing child care population over time, changes in policies relating to the placement of children in care and changes in policies regarding contact with family members. It will also examine the governance, monitoring and inspection of child care services at all levels, including the recruitment, selection, training and supervision of staff and carers as well as changes in acceptable forms of punishment in care settings, such as the use of corporal punishment. In addition, the Report will seek to identify any systemic weaknesses in care services over time against a backdrop of the changes to children’s rights and practices of listening to children and young people.

 

 

The Legislative and Regulatory Framework: Professor Kenneth Norrie (Law School, University of Strathclyde)

Professor Norrie is to provide the Inquiry with a Report which describes the legislative and regulatory framework governing children in care in Scotland from 1900 to date. In particular, the Report will:

(1) Trace the primary and secondary legislation regulating the care of children over this time period.

(2) Identify the legal obligations that individuals or public bodies were, and are currently, under.

(3) Assess how comprehensive and effective these measures are.

Professor Norrie’s Report will trace the legislation and regulatory framework relating to the care of children in institutional settings. It will also assess how comprehensive or effective that framework was, although it will not try to identify any particular instances where the legal duties described were or are not being met. Rather, the main focus of the Report will be an assessment of the potential effectiveness of the regulatory regimes as existed at the time. While some of the material to be covered has already been explored in Chapter 2 of the Historical Abuse Systemic Review, published by the Scottish Government in 2007, Professor Norrie’s Report will be wider than that chapter. It will deal with matters before and after the time period covered in that previous Report and will provide an assessment of the legislative material.

 

Part I of Professor Norrie’s report, looking at the legal and regulatory framework up to 1948, has been completed and can be found here.

Part 2 of Professor Norrie’s report, looking at the legal and regulatory framework from 1948 to 1968, has been completed and can be found here.

Professor Norrie has provided Appendices to both Parts. these can be found here.