Timescale for child abuse inquiry extended

Inquiry given more time to ensure survivors’ voices are heard.

Scotland’s independent public inquiry into the abuse of children in care is being given more time to complete its work and ensure survivors’ voices are heard.

Deputy First Minister, John Swinney, has agreed to a request from the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry Chair, the Right Honourable Lady Smith, to remove the requirement from the inquiry’s Terms of Reference to report to Ministers within four years and instead report as soon as reasonably practicable.

Mr Swinney said:

“It is clear the inquiry is working hard and good progress is already evident. A large number of applicants have already come forward and continue to do so, it is vital that the inquiry hears from as many survivors and witnesses as possible.

“That is why I have agreed to Lady Smith’s request to revise the original terms of reference to allow more time for the inquiry to complete its work, taking into account its remit, timescale and large number of institutions identified.

“It takes considerable courage for survivors to approach the inquiry and talk about their experiences of being in care as children. By raising awareness of historic abuse they are helping to uncover the nature and extent of the issue and the failings which allowed it to happen.

“We are determined to ensure lessons are learned to protect children in future and provide survivors with the support they deserve.”


The Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry was established under statute on 1 October 2015 and is independent of the Scottish Government.

Find out more information on the role of Government.

More information on the inquiry is available at the Child Abuse Inquiry website.


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