The In care Survivors Service Scotland was developed to highlight and address the long term effects, as well as current and future needs of those survivors subjected to neglect, physical, emotional and sexual abuse whilst in care.
By ‘in care’, we mean any setting (placement) where a child or young person is required to live away from their normal place of residence (normally the family home), e.g. foster care, adoption,kinship care, residential children’s unit / home, residential school, hospital care and secure accommodation. The setting (placement) may be provided by a local authority or by voluntary and independent providers (e.g. voluntary organisations, religious based organisations , and private providers).
The background to development of the service was as follows:
In 2001, a cross party group for survivors of childhood sexual abuse was established to increase public awareness and understanding of childhood sexual abuse. The Scottish Government’s national strategy for survivors of childhood sexual abuse (2005) was the culmination of that group’s efforts.
Alongside these developments, Chris Daly, a survivor of institutional abuse, submitted a petition to the Scottish Parliament in 2002 on behalf of survivors of in care abuse. Petition PE535 led to an apology in the Scottish Parliament by the then First Minister and the publication of an independent expert review in 2007 recommending changes to legislation. There has been continuing consideration and announcements from the Scottish Government on action to be taken arising from the petitions. In early 2008, the Minister for Children and Early Years, Adam Ingram, made a statement in the Scottish Parliament setting out the progress made in improving support to survivors of in care abuse. The statement included a commitment to fund a support service for survivors and their families for three years. The In Care Survivors Service was launched later that year (November 2008) following an open, competitive process.