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Background Information on the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry

Release Date: 30 Nov 2018

The Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry was set up to investigate historical abuse in residential child care establishments run by a number of organisations across the country. Currently Barnardo’s is one of three child care charities being scrutinised over some of its former homes in Scotland.

The Inquiry is now in its third stage and is currently hearing evidence from former service users of the three charities.  All of the former service users have submitted written evidence to the Inquiry which we have been given sight of.  Oral evidence is now being taken by the Inquiry and the majority of this has been neutral or positive concerning people’s experience whilst in Barnardo’s care.

Mr Steele, a former service user, attended the inquiry on Wednesday 28 November, in which his written evidence was presented - this included information relating to a disclosure from Mr Steele in 2001 with an allegation against a former employee dating back to 1976.  Mr Steele’s allegation was reported immediately to the Police, and Barnardo’s co-operated fully with the Police investigation.  It was the decision of the authorities not to continue with a prosecution, as there was insufficient evidence.

Mr Steele presented further oral evidence at the inquiry which was factually inaccurate.  Unfortunately, the Daily Mail printed the article without first verifying the content with Barnardo’s.  Had we been approached by the Daily Mail we would have been able to correct factual inaccuracies and offer comment on the oral evidence.  

We deeply regret what happened to Mr Steele and for the anguish he has endured, the charity did everything they could at the time of his disclosure to support him.  

Barnardo’s will be given the opportunity to give evidence and address the oral evidence submitted by Mr Steele once the individual testimony stage has been completed.  The current programme indicates that for Barnardo’s this will be in January 2019.

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