Child abuse cash axe sparks suicides fear; Group shocked services are being put out to tender.
Byline: JAMES MONCUR & DAVID CLEGG
A SHOCK Scottish Government decision to axe a high profile organisation that helps survivors of historic child abuse could lead to an increase in suicides, it was warned last night.
Earlier this year the Government bowed to pressure and announced a public inquiry into abuse in Scotland's children's homes boasting it would "shine a light in the dark corners of the past."
Now the group that campaigned tirelessly for the inquiry - In Care Survivors Service Scotland (ICSSS) - are facing closure with the loss of a PS200,000 annual grant.
The SNP have decided the services ICSSS provides to people who suffered abuse will be put out to tender on the open market.
Janine Rennie, boss of ICSSS, warned: "We have no idea why they have put this out to tender. The new contract is more expensive and doesn't support clients in the same way we do.
"It certainly doesn't meet survivors needs and in some cases could put some at risk of suicide."
She added: "We will now try and find funding from other sources to enable us to still offer support to survivors."
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Last night Dave Sharp, a high-profile survivor who campaigned for a national inquiry, said the decision "beggars belief."
The 56-year-old said: "If there is any further proof needed that this government has no interest in victims who have taken their own lives and all those victims who have fought so hard for so man years to get justice then ending the ICSSS contract is it.
"Even though many of us have no past, no future and no hope, the Scottish Government has not heard the last of us. We will keep fighting."
ICSSS is a "one stop shop" where victims get the help they need under one roof and can build relationships and trust with case workers.
This is in contrast with the broker system proposed by the government that has a PS13million support fund.
Brokers will find a service in the community that provides support but only if the service required is available.
Where there is no service, the broker will commission one - if possible - and the fund will pay for it.
The Scottish Government has not heard the last of us. We will keep fighting DAVE SHARP
OUTRAGE Abuse survivor Dave Sharp has blasted the decision to axe the service