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Forum for adults placed in care as children 27/05/2013 Proposals to create a National Confidential Forum have been supported by the Scottish Parliament’s Health and Sport Committee.

Forum for adults placed in care as children

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 Scottish Parliament’s 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 the Bill are being scrutinised by the Justice Committee.

The Committee’s report concludes that 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, it says.

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.

“It was clear from evidence we heard that the creation of this Forum will not right the many wrongs of those that suffered whilst in institutional care as children,” said Convener of the Committee Duncan McNeil MSP. “However, it is hoped that the forum may give some adults the opportunity to be heard in a safe and confidential setting, which is why our Committee is today supporting its creation.”
 

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