A landmark scheme to provide survivors of historical child abuse in care with financial redress has opened for applications. Those eligible can apply to request an apology and payments ranging from £10,000 up to £100,000.
The process has been shaped by the views of survivors and will be delivered by the SNP Government and Redress Scotland, established by Scottish Ministers.
A list of financial contributors to Scotland’s Redress Scheme has also been published today.
Deputy First Minister John Swinney MSP said:
“Across Parliament, we have come together to confront the scale and horror of the abuse Scotland’s most vulnerable children suffered. We cannot make up for that pain, and we cannot take away the devastating impact it has had on people’s lives. But we can provide acknowledgement and tangible recognition of the harm caused, by offering redress to survivors through this scheme.
“I invite all survivors who are eligible for the scheme to apply, if it is the right choice for them. There is funding for independent legal advice to help survivors make that choice and support is available at every stage of the application process.”
Kenneth Gibson MSP added:
“Having served on the Committee which took evidence on this Bill and successfully moving amendments to it, I’m pleased that the strong survivor voice was recognised throughout the process of designing and developing the scheme.
“I want to thank all survivors who have contributed their time, commitment and insight. Their input has been crucial.”
Redress Scotland Chair Johnny Gwynne said:
“This is an important day in the lives of survivors for whom this scheme is intended, and a milestone in Scotland’s journey to addressing some of the deeply troubling incidents in its past.
“The Redress Scotland team and panel members consider it a privilege to be able to undertake this significant work. We stand ready to receive and make decisions on applications for redress.”
Further information on the scheme, applications forms and guidance can be found here.
Phone lines opened on Thursday 09 December for those who would like application packs posted to them. They can call 0808 175 0808 for survivor applications or 0808 281 7777 for next of kin applications.
A team of specially-trained case workers, working on behalf of Scottish Government, stand ready to help all applicants at each stage of the application process. Callers from abroad should call +44 131 297 6500. Phone lines are open Monday to Thursday 10am to 4pm until 21 December and again from 05 January 2022.
The scheme’s opening comes after the Redress for Survivors (Historical Child Abuse in Care) (Scotland) Act 2021 received Royal Assent in April.
Where a survivor died on or after 01 December 2004, their spouse, partner or cohabitant, or if no one eligible is in that category, their children, may be able to apply for a next of kin redress payment of £10,000.
The scheme, is about responding to the abuse of children in residential care. The Act covers two broad categories of settings. The first, where children were “in care” because their families were unable to look after them at home and, the second, where children were subject to some form of intervention by a body exercising public functions and were therefore living away from their family.
More information on eligibility can be found here.
The Advance Payment Scheme for survivors with a terminal illness or who are over 68 will now close. It was set up in April 2019 to cover the period until the redress scheme opened and has made fixed redress payments of £10,000 to over 700 applicants.
Further information financial contributors to the scheme can be found here.