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Creation of a forum for adults placed in care

Proposals to create a National Confidential Forum (NCF), which will provide an opportunity for adults who were placed in institutional care as children to recount their experiences, including abuse, have been supported by the Health and Sport Committee.

The Committee has published its stage one report into the proposals which are outlined as part of the Victims and Witnesses Bill. The rest of the proposals within this Bill are being scrutinised by the Justice Committee.

Deputy Convener Bob Doris MSP said:

“The creation of the National Confidential Forum was supported by many individuals and organisations that we heard from. However it was also clear that we need to get the detail right to ensure that the Forum meets the needs of those survivors that will use it.

“What is also important is that this Forum does not exist in isolation and that a broader approach is taken to make sure the needs of survivors are met.

“This includes emphasis on a survivor strategy, restorative justice and wider access to counselling and psychological support”.

The Committee’s report has reached the following overall conclusions:

  • The expectations of survivors of childhood abuse must be approached with sensitivity and, while the NCF can meet the needs of some people, it is clear that a broader approach is required too. The Committee therefore welcomes the work participation of the Scottish Government in the process of InterAction; the time-bar consultation; work undertaken on restorative justice, and the emphasis placed on the Survivor Strategy. That momentum must continue if the best interests of all the survivors are to be served.
  • By way of its own contribution to that momentum, the Committee encourages that further consideration be given to matters such as: access to psychological, counselling and advocacy support; the links between the NCF and care providers; inclusion of foster care in the eligibility criteria; training and expertise of mental health professionals and the role of the Forum in informing policy and practice.

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