Inquiry to look into the abuse of children in foster care in Scotland

Lady Anne Smith
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The Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry has announced it will begin hearing evidence into the abuse of children in foster care next spring.

Foster care

It will hold public hearings which will include children who were boarded out, as well as children who were placed in foster care by Scottish local authorities. The inquiry is urging anyone with relevant evidence to contact its witness support team as soon as possible.

Part one of the case study will feature evidence from relevant experts and regulatory bodies to provide context and scene setting. The inquiry will then hear evidence from individuals who experienced abuse in foster care as well as a range of other witnesses.

Lady Anne Smith, chair of the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry, said:

Many people have already come forward, but we would encourage anyone with relevant evidence to get in touch with the inquiry’s witness support team as soon as possible. We are particularly keen to hear from anyone with more recent experience of foster care.

It’s expected the foster care case study will run for several months. The inquiry, which aims to raise public awareness of the abuse of children in care, is considering evidence up to 17 December, 2014, and which is within the living memory of any person who suffered abuse.

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  • Show Comments
    1. It indeed is a bad/sad situation when even government-run care needs to be investigated for child abuse. … It’s known that trauma from unhindered abuse typically results in a helpless child’s brain improperly developing. If allowed to continue for a prolonged period, it can act as a starting point into a life in which the brain uncontrollably releases potentially damaging levels of inflammatory stress hormones and chemicals, even in non-stressful daily routines. I consider it to be a form of brain damage.

      The lasting emotional/psychological pain from such trauma is very formidable yet invisibly confined to inside one’s head. It is solitarily suffered, unlike an openly visible physical disability or condition, which tends to elicit sympathy/empathy from others. It can make every day a mental ordeal, unless the turmoil is treated with some form of medicating, either prescribed or illicit.

      Sadly, due to the common OIIIMOBY mindset (Only If It’s In My Own Back Yard), the prevailing collective attitude, however implicit or subconscious, basically follows: ‘Why should I care — I’m soundly raising my kid?’ or ‘What’s in it for me, the taxpayer, if I support child development programs for the sake of others’ bad parenting?’ While some may justify it as a normal thus moral human evolutionary function, the self-serving OIIIMOBY can debilitate social progress, even when social progress is most needed; and it seems that distinct form of societal penny wisdom but pound foolishness is a very unfortunate human characteristic that’s likely with us to stay.

      The wellbeing of ALL children — and not just what other parents’ children might/will cost us as future criminals or costly cases of government care, etcetera — needs to be of real importance to us all, regardless of whether we’re doing a great job with our own developing children. A mentally sound future should be every child’s fundamental right — along with air, water, food and shelter — especially considering the very troubled world into which they never asked to enter. …

      “It has been said that if child abuse and neglect were to disappear today, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual would shrink to the size of a pamphlet in two generations, and the prisons would empty. Or, as Bernie Siegel, MD, puts it, quite simply, after half a century of practicing medicine, ‘I have become convinced that our number-one public health problem is our childhood’.” (Childhood Disrupted, pg.228).

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