Council makes progress preparing for Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry
The inquiry began in October 2015 and is expected to last four years
The Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry officially began on 01 October 2015 and is estimated to last for at least four years. The overall aim of the inquiry is to raise awareness of the abuse of children in care and provide an opportunity for public acknowledgement of the suffering of those children who have been abused in care.
Covers that period within living memory
An important function of the inquiry is that it is to cover that period which is within living memory of any person who suffered such abuse, up until such date as the chair may determine, and in any event not beyond 17 December 2014; the date when the inquiry was initially announced. This will enable adults of all ages to provide witness to the abuse and suffering they may have endured.
Council fully supports any actions that seek justice
Midlothian Council fully supports any actions that seek justice for survivors of childhood abuse and are committed to working with the inquiry team. As part of its preparation for the inquiry, Midlothian established a project team to look at the detail of the preparation. This early preparation has meant we are well placed to meet the demands of the inquiry. The council has also committed additional resources to ensure we can continue the work both at a national and local level.
Difficult to estimate any claims
Council Leader, Councillor Catherine Johnstone said: “While it is difficult to estimate the value of any claims that could be brought, we are able to gauge some of these costs based on the experience of other inquiries and the projections made by a range of professional groups. Recent estimates based on the information provided by Directors of Finance would suggest Midlothian Council may be liable for £2 million in compensation claims although legal cost could be considerably more. Given the fiscal challenges Midlothian Council is currently experiencing, the financial burden is a significant issue.”