Important Communication from the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry

From the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry:

The Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry (previously known as the Historical Child Abuse Inquiry) was established on 1 October 2015. The Inquiry’s Terms of Reference cover that period which is within living memory of any person who suffered abuse as a child whilst in care. The abuse must have taken place not beyond 17 December 2014.   Further information regarding the Inquiry, including updates on our progress, can be found on our website:

The Inquiry will, in due course, seek to recover records which relate to matters within its Terms of Reference.

The Inquiry will be interested in records relating to the abuse of “Children in Care”.  This term is widely defined in the Terms of Reference, and includes children in residential schools, long term residents in healthcare establishments, children in secure accommodation etc. and children in foster care, in addition to children in institutional residential care.  “Abuse” is also widely defined, and includes primarily physical or sexual abuse, but the definition does not exclude other forms of abuse e.g. emotional abuse or neglect.

The Inquiry will be interested in records relating to any legal responsibilities which organisations may have or have had in relation to children in care. The Inquiry may also be interested in records relating to the ongoing effects of abuse for victims and their families.

These categories of records are provided by way of example and do not represent an exhaustive list.

We should be grateful if you would consider the full Terms of Reference, which can be viewed at:  The Inquiry has statutory powers to compel the production of records, even where those records could otherwise be withheld on data protection grounds. Please consider carefully the nature of your organisation’s work (including work it no longer carries out) and whether it may be relevant to any of the matters covered by the Terms of Reference.

If you consider that your organisation may potentially hold records which relate to matters covered by the Terms of Reference, we would ask that you take immediate steps to preserve them.  We should also be grateful if you would make the Inquiry aware of the fact that you may hold relevant records, by no later than 31st May 2016.

If you have any queries at this stage, or to advise the Inquiry that you hold records, please contact:

Felicity Cullen, Deputy Solicitor,




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