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Victims and Witnesses (Scotland) Act 2014

General functions of NCF

85.Section 30 sets out the general functions of the Forum in a new section 4ZB of the Mental Health Act (referred to as the “NCF functions”). The principal function of the Forum is to give people who were placed in institutional care as children the opportunity to describe, in confidence, their experiences of that care, including any abuse experienced during the time spent in care. The descriptions of being in care which people will recount to the members of the Forum are referred to as “testimony”.

86.The Forum is to acknowledge the experiences of people placed in institutional care as children by enabling them to give testimony at hearings of the Forum or in other ways, for example, in writing or by video or phone link.

87.A further function of the Forum is to identify patterns and trends in relation to institutional child care provision, including issues concerning abuse, based on the information provided to it by participants and, subsequently, to make recommendations for the improvement of institutional child care provision in the future.

88.The Forum is also empowered to produce reports on its work and any recommendations arising from the information it receives from people placed in institutional care as children. These reports will be available to the public but the identity of participants in the Forum, other persons and institutions will not be disclosed.

89.The final function of the Forum is to provide people who are considering taking part in hearings of the Forum (and those who do take part in such hearings) with information about sources of assistance and advice.

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Text created by the Scottish Executive department responsible for the subject matter of the Act to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes were introduced in 1999 and accompany all Acts of the Scottish Parliament except those which result from Budget Bills

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