The Scottish Ministers are in the process of appointing a new Chair and panel member for the Inquiry. Meanwhile, the important work of the Inquiry continues as it seeks to fulfil the requirements outlined in its Terms of Reference.
Since it began work on 1 October 2015, the Inquiry team has engaged with a range of individuals and organisations with an interest in its work. On 23 March this year the Inquiry launched a formal call for evidence from people who have been abused.
In the three months since then, the Inquiry has been in contact with around 170 survivors of abuse. Private sessions with these survivors have started. The sessions are taking place across Scotland and the rest of the UK and are being prioritised according to the individual needs of survivors.
Two survivor groups - INCAS (In Care Abuse Survivors) and FBGA (Former Boys and Girls Abused of Quarriers Homes) - have applied for core participant status and for funding for legal representation. Their applications have been granted.
Discussions have been held with a range of organisations including Police Scotland, local authorities and health boards about the preservation and recovery of relevant records. The Inquiry intends to begin issuing requests for documents in the coming months, while a document and evidence management system will shortly be in place for the secure storage and handling of records recovered through this process.
In a significant step to creating a national public record on the subject, the Inquiry has also commissioned Professor Lorraine Radford of the University of Central Lancashire to undertaken a literature review of the evidence on the prevalence of child abuse in Scotland. This research – which will focus on the abuse of children in residential and foster care – will address both the nature and extent of the abuse. Professor Radford is expected to report on her findings by the end of this year.
The Inquiry has published its latest quarterly expenditure information, covering the period April to June 2016. You can see this here