Publication - FOI/EIR release

Scottish Child Abuse forum information: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002

Published:
16 Sep 2021
Scottish Child Abuse forum information: FOI release
FOI reference: FOI/202100225510
Date received: 26 Jul 2021
Date responded: 24 Aug 2021
Information requested

How many people were interviewed by the Scottish Child Abuse forum?

The age groups of the victims who had been interviewed: as in how many 50-year-old 55-year-olds etc?

How many of those victims originally interviewed have passed away since being interviewed including taking their own lives, drug overdoses or being killed by a person or person unknown?

How many of those interviewed have been sent to prison since being interviewed?

How many victims have applied for the redress scheme?

How many victims have been spoken to personally by John Swinney or by the new health minister?

Can you tell me how many care homes have been investigated and how many abusers have been convicted and sentenced handed down by courts?

How many victims the Scottish government contacted during COVID to as if they were coping after bearing their soul to the alleged confidential forum?

You clarified that you were looking for information regarding the National Confidential Forum and our response is regarding that with exception to your specific questions regarding Redress. You also asked further questions as follows:

What percentage were male how many female or identify as LGBT?

How many of the interviewed have passed since the forum BEGAN their confidential interviews? For those who passed if the cause of death is available.

How many survivors have been paid under special circumstance rule?

How many relatives are now waiting on those who have passed redress or civil cases?

When will the redress start talking to victims?

Why did no one from Scottish government or any other groups check up for survivors during lockdown. If they did , how many?

Response

While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the Scottish Government does not have some of the information you have requested. The reasons why we do not have this information is explained below.

The National Confidential Forum (NCF) was created in 2014 as a public body as a committee of the Mental Welfare Commission (MWC), under the Victims and Witnesses (Scotland) Act 2014. NCF offered care experienced people the opportunity to anonymously share their experiences, good or bad of being in care in Scotland and have these experiences acknowledged. It anonymously recorded people’s testimonies and these anonymised testimonies have been stored by National Records Scotland to preserve what people have told NCF about their time in care. The National Confidential Forum ran from 2015 and closed in June 2021.

How many people were interviewed by the Scottish Child Abuse forum?
With regards to the National Confidential Forum, from 2015-2020 the total number of testimonies given was 180.

The age groups of the victims who had been interviewed: as in how many 50-year-old 55- year-olds etc?
Please see a breakdown of the testimonies, by year, by age group:

Age Group 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18 2018-19 2019-20
21-30 3 3 1 2 Unknown
31-40 1 1 2 0 Unknown
41-50 14 10 6 9 Unknown
51-60 26 10 6 7 Unknown
61-70 8 7 6 5 Unknown
71-80 1 1 4 0 Unknown
81-90 2 2 0 1 Unknown
Age Unknown 2 12 3 1 Unknown

How many of those victims originally interviewed have passed away since being interviewed including taking their own lives, drug overdoses or being killed by a person or person unknown?
We do not hold that information as the individuals' details have been anonymised so we do not know what has happened to individuals since their testimonies.

How many of those interviewed have been sent to prison since being interviewed?
We do not hold that information as the individuals' details have been anonymised so we do not know what has happened to individuals since their testimonies.

How many victims have applied for the redress scheme?
The statutory redress scheme is not yet open for applications, therefore no applications have yet been made.

How many victims have been spoken to personally by John Swinney or by the new health minister?
We do not hold that information as the individuals' details have been anonymised so we do not know if they have had any personal communication with Scottish Ministers since their testimonies.

How many care homes have been investigated and how many abusers have been convicted and sentenced handed down by courts?
With regards to the National Confidential Forum, we do not hold this detailed information however the amount of disclosures made to Police Scotland from 2015 -2020 following testimonies are as follows:

2015-16 2016-17 2017-18 2018-19 2019-20
16 21 11 19 10

How many victims the Scottish government contacted during COVID to as if they were coping after bearing their soul to the alleged confidential forum?
With regards to the National Confidential Forum, home working commenced March 2020 and they immediately set about introducing contingencies to ensure care-experienced people could continue to have the opportunity to be heard. They introduced facilities and protocols which enable them to offer hearings confidentially by video conference and teleconference.

They continued to work alongside their stakeholders to offer further support to those who were interviewed where appropriate.

The Scottish Government funds 29 support organisations through the Survivors of Childhood Abuse Support (SOCAS) Fund and a number of these organisations are survivor-led. The Survivor Support Policy Team was in regular contact with the organisations at regular meetings (and still are) to offer support and advice during lockdown however we do not know how many or who of the members of the organisations are survivors or if they took part in the National Confidential Forum.

What percentage were male how many female or identify as LGBT?
Based on the total number of testimonies from 2015 to 2020, and the information we have, approximately 59% of testimonies were made by men and 41% made by women. We do not have any information regarding the percentage of people interviewed identifying as LGBT.

How many of the interviewed have passed since the forum BEGAN their Confidential interviews? For those who passed if the cause of death is available.
We do not hold that information as the individuals' details have been anonymised so we do not know what has happened to individuals since their testimonies.

How many survivors have been paid under special circumstance rule?
As of 13 August 2021, the Advance Payment Scheme has received 757 applications and payments have been made to 639 survivors. The Advance Payment Scheme is for applicants age 68 years and over and for those who are terminally ill. 580 applicants were eligible on age grounds and 59 applicants were eligible on health grounds. I am not sure if by special circumstances, you mean health grounds, age or another matter but please get in touch if this is not the information that you are looking for.

How many relatives are now waiting on those who have passed redress or civil cases?
We do not know how many survivors have passed away and therefore we do not know how many living relatives those survivors may have or indeed how many of those relatives would be classed as next of kin for the purpose of the redress scheme. In terms of civil cases, we do not have information on how many people have had successful civil claims or out of court claims.

In terms of redress, because the scheme is not yet open we do not have any statistics on next of kin applicants. Our current estimate for the statutory redress scheme is that 1,500 next of kin applications will be made to the scheme but this is simply an estimate and the actual number of next of kin redress payments made will depend solely on the number of eligible applications received over the lifetime of the scheme.

When will the redress start talking to victims?
The Redress division within Scottish Government has been engaging with victims and survivors for many years. Engagement continues to take place with survivors in regards to the development and delivery of the scheme. Updates are sent out regularly via our mailing list. The most recent information notes have included invitations for survivors to participate in engagement activity about the scheme, the creation of the Survivor Forum, and the recruitment of Redress Scotland members. These information notes can be found online here: Financial redress for survivors of child abuse in care: key developments and information updates - gov.scot (www.gov.scot). Work is also ongoing with the Review Group, which consists of representatives from 3 key survivor organisations and individual survivor representatives.

Why did no one from Scottish government or any other groups check-up for survivors during lockdown. If they did , how many?
The Scottish Government funds 29 support organisations through the Survivors of Childhood Abuse Support (SOCAS) Fund and a number of these organisations are survivor-led. The Survivor Support Policy Team was in regular contact with the organisations at regular meetings (and still are), in order to offer support and advice during lockdown. Again, we do not know exactly how many or who of the members of the organisations are survivors.

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Contact

Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
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