On Thursday 11 March, the Scottish Parliament unanimously agreed legislation to create a new scheme for survivors of historical child abuse in care to apply for financial redress payments, as well as access to apology and support.
The Redress for Survivors Bill, which was welcomed by the Scottish Human Rights Commission, will also set up an independent body, Redress Scotland, to assess applications.
Survivors can apply for a fixed rate redress payment of £10,000, or an individually assessed payment involving a more detailed examination of their experience. The individually assessed redress payment levels are set at £20,000, £40,000, £60,000, £80,000 or £100,000.
In some circumstances, next of kin of deceased survivors can also apply for a redress payment of £10,000. The scheme will open for applications as soon as possible.
As a member of the Education and Skills Committee, local MSP Kenneth Gibson was involved in scrutinising the Bill and said:
“As we know, over several generations, thousands of Scottish children placed in the care of organisations or boarded out by the state were victims of widespread, serious, systemic and societal failings, including neglect, physical, sexual and psychological abuse. Those trusted organisations badly let down many of our most vulnerable children in their basic duty of care.
“Survivors were betrayed by those who should have protected them. MSPs across the political spectrum unanimously agree that we have a moral obligation to those children, who are now adults.
“I was pleased to participate in scrutiny of this Bill, have amendments to it agreed at Stage 2 and now welcome it being passed by the Scottish Parliament.
“Although nothing can compensate for a lost childhood, financial restitution shows acceptance of society’s responsibility in trying to address the damage caused to survivors of historic child abuse in Scottish care institutions.”