Forum chair and commissioners appointed
A chair and two commissioners have been appointed to lead a pilot forum testing ways for adult survivors of child abuse in residential care to talk about their experiences.
Appointed by the Public Health Minister - supported by Justice and Education ministers - the pilot forum's chair will be Tom Shaw, who was previously appointed by ministers as the independent expert to lead a review of the systems for children in residential schools and children's homes from 1950 to 1995. His Historic Abuse Systemic Review from 2007 has already had a significant impact on residential childcare in Scotland. The country's first Commissioner for Children and Young People, Kathleen Marshall, has been appointed as one of the commissioners who will sit with the chair. Consultant forensic clinical psychologist Anne Carpenter has been appointed as the other commissioner.
Ministers committed last year to examining the possibilities for a forum to give adult survivors who were abused as children in care the chance to speak about their experiences and help them come to terms with the past. More than 70 people and agencies responded to a Scottish Government consultation, overwhelmingly supporting a pilot forum. It will begin hearing from survivors in spring next year.
The chair will lead discussions - through an advisory group including survivors and other stakeholders - on how the pilot forum will be established and its timescale. A human rights framework is also being designed by the Scottish Human Rights Commission. Before the pilot forum begins information sessions will be held with individuals and groups who have an interest in its work. A report on the pilot forum is anticipated early in 2011.
Tom Shaw was formerly Chief Inspector of the Education and Training Inspectorate in Northern Ireland in 1995 until his retirement in August 2000. In the course of his work on the review of the systems for children in residential schools and children's homes from 1950 to 1995 he met, and received information from, a number of survivors of abuse and from some of those responsible for the provision of residential services to children over the 45 year review period.
The report of his findings, Historic Abuse Systemic Review, was published in November 2007 and his recommendations were accepted by the Scottish Government.
In 2007 he was appointed by the Scottish Government as a member of the advisory body for the inquiry into the abuse of children in Kerelaw, a residential school for boys in Glasgow.
In November 2008 he was invited to give the keynote address at a national conference in Edinburgh which was organised to report on and take stock of progress, one year on from the publication of his report, in the implementation of his recommendations. Minister for Children and Early Years Adam Ingram, in welcoming Tom Shaw at the conference, said his work "has made an incredible impact on the agenda of looked after children past, present and future (in Scotland)" and " has led to a clear commitment from the many partner agencies to develop services in which the culture is founded on children's rights."
Kathleen Marshall's career has been devoted to promoting and safeguarding the rights of children. She qualified as a solicitor in 1975 and spent her early professional years in local government in Glasgow. She was Director of Scottish Child Law Centre from 1989 to 1994. On leaving the Centre, she worked as a child law consultant, addressing many aspects of the lives of children and young people, including family matters, child protection, education, international child abduction, health, public care, criminal justice and participation in court processes. She chaired the Edinburgh Inquiry into Abuse and Protection of Children in Care that reported in 1999. From April, 2004 to 2009, she served as Scotland's first Commissioner for Children and Young People, with a remit to promote and safeguard the rights of children and young people in Scotland.
Anne Carpenter is a Consultant Forensic Clinical Psychologist who has worked in the Greater Glasgow and Clyde Forensic Mental Health Directorate for 18 years and in this capacity has worked extensively with victims of crime, at both clinical and organisational levels. In addition she lectures on Victims of Crime at Glasgow University department of psychological medicine and on the Glasgow Caledonia University Forensic Psychology Masters course. Since 2006, she has been a member of the Parole Board for Scotland.