A scheme that offers recognition and acknowledgement to survivors of historical childhood abuse in care has made payments of £10,000 each to 417 people in its first year.
The Advance Payment Scheme provides redress payments to those who were abused in care in Scotland and who are terminally ill or aged 68 or over.
Deputy First Minister John Swinney MSP said:
“I am pleased that 417 people have received an advance payment. We continue to do everything possible to help survivors and their families apply to the scheme by ensuring a simple application process. I am particularly pleased by the positive feedback we have received on the process from survivors and survivors groups.
“While clearly nothing can take away the pain that individuals have suffered, the scheme, together with other actions we are taking, will go some way towards acknowledging the grievous harm inflicted on them when they were most vulnerable.”
Kenneth Gibson MSP commented:
“Childhood abuse is a deeply traumatising experience that tends to impact victims for the rest of their lives, and often shapes the entire course of it. The betrayal suffered by those who were already in a vulnerable position and put into care only to be abused, is indescribable.
“The SNP Government recognises that a redress arrangement has been a long time coming, and wants it to benefit survivors who may not live long enough to apply to the statutory scheme when it is established.
“This is why in December, the minimum age to apply for an advance payment was lowered from 70 to 68 years, allowing more people to benefit from this.
“Nothing will ever compensate or erase the horrible abuse people have suffered, but hopefully these payments will be of some assistance to those who are terminally ill or 68+. They deserve it.”
Financial redress is part of a package of measure the Scottish Government is taking to help support adult survivors of childhood abuse and includes Future Pathways, the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry and the National Confidential Forum.
The Advance Payment Scheme comes ahead of planned legislation for a statutory redress scheme, which the Scottish Government intends will pass its final Parliamentary stages before March 2021.
The scheme opened on 25 April 2019 and 417 payments of £10,000 were made in the period to 25 April 2020.
The figures were published as part of the first annual report on the Advance Payment Scheme.