The Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry began in October 2015 as a response to overwhelming evidence of long-term, historic and systemic abuse of children in care in Scotland. The inquiry is concerned with instances of abuse that "cover that period which is within living memory of any person who suffered such abuse, up until such date as the Chair may determine, and in any event not beyond 17 December 2014".
Furthermore, "The overall aim and purpose of this Inquiry is to raise public awareness of the abuse of children in care, particularly during the period covered by the Inquiry. It will provide an opportunity for public acknowledgement of the suffering of those children and a forum for validation of their experience and testimony."
Who is Overseeing the Inquiry?
The Inquiry is chaired by Lady Smith a former judge of the supreme courts and a former Chair of the Scottish Partnership on Domestic Abuse. She has a long-standing interest in the legal rights of children and families and has chaired the Advocates Family Law Group and the Advocates Professional Negligence Group.
Lady Smith's work investigating historic child abuse claims is supported by the Secretariat, a Legal Team and Counsel to the Inquiry.
What is the Inquiry Doing?
As well as looking into and documenting the abuse of children in care in Scotland, the Inquiry is looking into the causes of the abuse, the institutional and organisational failures that allowed it to occur and the lasting effects on the children and the families involved. Importantly, the process also examines what, if any, changes have taken place since the time of the abuse and whether any further legal, policy or procedural changes are needed.
Once the Inquiry is complete, a report will be published and presented to the Scottish Government and the Scottish Parliament.
What Have We Learned So Far?
In its first interim report, published in October 2018, the SCAI reported how priests and staff working at two Scottish children's homes physically, emotionally and sexually abused children in their care over a period lasting several decades.
"The homes were places of fear, coercive control, threat, excessive discipline and emotional, physical and sexual abuse, where they found no love, no compassion, no dignity and no comfort," said Lady Smith.
Abuses catalogued included the following:
- Physical assault with belts, rosary beads, wooden crucifixes and hairbrushes.
- Force-feeding of children.
- Shaming of children who had wet the bed.
- Forced labour.
- Severe neglect that led indirectly to the death of one child.
Does the SCAI Pay Compensation?
No, the SCAI cannot pay compensation to affected parties. However, its findings will be useful in assisting survivors to make claims.
Making a Historic Child Abuse Claim with Thompsons Scotland
Thompsons works in partnership with Scotland's leading abuse charities, including Wellbeing Scotland, to help support you throughout the process of making a civil claim for compensation for historic child abuse in Scotland.
Our survivor team is dedicated to helping you move forward. And because of our funding model, we never make charges until your case is settled and only if you are successful. Contact us today for more information.
Current SCAI Investigations
Below is a list of all the organisations currently under investigation by the SCAI. To see where Thompsons' clients suffered abuse please search the map on our main Abuse Claims page.
Roman Catholic orders
Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul
- Smyllum Park, Lanark
- Bellvue House, Rutherglen
- St Joseph's Hospital, Rosewell
- St Vincent's School for the Deaf/Blind, Tollcross, Glasgow
- Roseangle Orphanage (St Vincent's), Dundee
Congregation of Christian Brothers
- St Ninian's Falkland, Fife
De La Salle Brothers
- St Joseph's, Tranent
- St Ninians, Gartmore, Stirlingshire
- Kenmure St Mary's Boys' School, Bishopbriggs
- St Mungo's, Mauchline, Ayrshire
- St John's Boys' School, Shettleston
Congregation of the Sisters of Nazareth
- Nazareth House, Aberdeen
- Nazareth House, Cardonald
- Nazareth House, Lasswade
- Nazareth House, Kilmarnock
Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd
- The Good Shepherd Centre, Bishopton
- St Euphrasia's
- Establishments in Colinton, Edinburgh
Congregation of the Poor Servants of the Mother of God
- St Mary's, Balnakiel House, Galashiels
- St Joseph's, Dumfries
- St Columba's, Largs
- Carlekemp School, North Berwick
- Fort Augustus Abbey School
Scottish Catholic Hierarchy
Bishops Conference of Scotland
The Archdiocese of Glasgow
St Andrew's School, Shandon, Dunbartonshire
Church of Scotland
- Ballikinrain School
- Geilsland Residential School
- The Lord and Lady Polwarth Home for Children in Edinburgh
- Quarriers Village
- Glasclune, North Berwick
- Balcary, Hawick
- Tyneholme, Pencaitland, East Lothian
- Craigerne, Peebles
- Blackford Road/South Oswald Road, Edinburgh
- Stapleton Towers, Annan, Dumfries
- Winton Drive, Glasgow
The Aberlour Child Care Trust
- Aberlour Orphanage, Aberlour
- Aberlour Children's Home (30 Quarry Hill, Keith)
- The Sycamore Cluster, Fife
- The Dowans
WHC Trust for Children
- Widowers' Children's Home, Edinburgh
Dean & Cauvin Trust
- Dean House Children's Home, Edinburgh
Dr Guthrie's Schools Association
- Dr Guthrie's List D School, Edinburgh
Red House Home Trust
- Red House Home, Musselburgh
Rossie Young People's Trust
- Rossie [Farm] [List D] School, Montrose
- Balgowan List D School, Dundee
Loaningdale School Company
- Loaningdale List D School
- Lagarie House Children's Home, Rhu
- Redheugh Adolescent Unit, Kilbirnie
- Balnacraig School, Perth
- Royal Blind School
Oakbank School Trust
- Oakbank, Aberdeen
Harmeny Education Trust Ltd.
- Harmeny School, Edinburgh
The Donaldson Trust
- Donaldson's School for Deaf Children
- Algrade, Humbie
- Fettes College
- Keil School, Dumbarton
- Loretto School
- Merchiston Castle School
- Morrison's Academy (at the time it was a boarding school)
- Queen Victoria School, Dunblane
Local authority establishments
The City of Edinburgh Council
- Clerwood Children's Home
- St Katherine's Secure Unit
- Howdenhall Centre
- Glenallan Children's Home
Perth and Kinross Council
- Colonsay House, Perth
- Nimmo Place Children's Home, Perth
- St Margaret's Children's Home, Elie
- Linwood Hall Children's Home, Leven
- Ovenstone Residential School, Pittenweem, Fife
Glasgow City Council
- Kerelaw Secure Unit
- Larchgrove Remand Home
- Downcraig, Castlemilk
- Eversley Children's Home, Pollokshields
- Park Lodge, Calderwood Road, Glasgow
- Cardross Park Assessment Centre
- Brimmond Assessment Centre
- Coblehaugh Children's Home, Inverurie
Argyll & Bute
- Dunclutha Children's Home, Dunoon
Dumfries & Galloway
- Merkland Children's Home, Moffat
- Balrossie School
- Barrholm List D School, Largs
- Bellshill Children's Home
- Gryffe Children's Home, Bridge of Weir
- Hill Park Children's Home, Hardgate
NHS Dumfries and Galloway
- Ladyfield West Children's Hospital, Dumfries
NHS Forth Valley
- Royal Scottish National Hospital, Larbert
NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde and East Dunbartonshire Council
- Lennox Castle Hospital, Lennoxtown, Glasgow
The Inquiry is working closely with organisations supporting former child migrants to identify and contact people in countries like Canada, Australia, New Zealand and elsewhere who may have suffered abuse in Scotland or after being sent abroad as part of past care arrangements.