Family's story deserves to be heard - John McLellan

Scottish Minister for Children and Young People Natalie DonScottish Minister for Children and Young People Natalie Don
Scottish Minister for Children and Young People Natalie Don
Eighteen months ago, this column revealed the harrowing story of a family torn apart by the actions of senior social workers in Edinburgh, a vulnerable young woman cast into the care system on a false claim.

The result was multiple suicide attempts, misleading reports, misinformation and years of anguish as the family desperately tried to understand how such a nightmare could have arisen.

The woman is now an adult and still doesn’t know why she was so badly treated, and although her story was included in the evidence gathered by the inquiries led by Susanne Tanner KC, like so many other whistle-blowers, it was overlooked.

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Since then, the family’s case has been taken up by campaigners for a public whistle-blowing inquiry and yesterday the case for a full investigation was discussed by the Scottish Parliament public petitions committee.

The good news is their bid is far from dead, although for arcane procedural reasons, the committee decided it couldn’t take more oral evidence. This family’s story is one which deserves to be heard face-to-face and they could have agreed to meet the family in private, but chose not to.

The Scottish Government has listened to families of victims in drawing up the Children (Care and Justice) Bill which is due for its third reading next month, so the Children, Young People and Keeping the Promise Minister Natalie Don needs to hear for herself what these people have to say. Fortunately, it looks like a meeting will take place, so this issue is far from dead.