Justice and support for child abuse survivors

Actions to help victims and survivors of historical child abuse in care

We have a package of measures in place for survivors of child abuse in care. These include:

  • in October 2018 the Deputy First Minister of Scotland committed to establishing a statutory redress scheme, with legislation to be passed before the end of March 2021, subject to the approval of Parliament
  • the Advance Payment Scheme opened on 25 April 2019 and provides redress payments for those who may not live long enough to apply to the statutory scheme
  • the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry is investigating the abuse of children in care in Scotland, and making recommendations for changes to legislation, policy and practice
  • the National Confidential Forum was set up to listen to, and acknowledge, people’s childhood experiences of institutional care in Scotland
  • Future Pathways is providing person-centred support to survivors of historical child abuse in care
  • a change to the law which removed a barrier preventing child abuse survivors from accessing civil justice - The Limitation (Childhood Abuse) (Scotland) Act 2017
  • the Apologies (Scotland) Act 2016 which promotes a change in culture and attitudes towards making an apology

Support organisations

We also fund a wide range of organisations and initiatives that support survivors, regardless of where the abuse took place:

  • the Survivors of Childhood Abuse Support Fund is a four year Scottish Government fund for organisations who offer emotional and practical support to survivors of childhood abuse and succeeds the Innovation and Development Fund which ended March 2020. The £10 million fund, which is now closed to applications, aims to reduce the impact of inequalities and disadvantage experienced as a result of childhood abuse, by enhancing the capacity and capability of third sector and community-based organisations who provide dedicated support to survivors. 29 organisations from across Scotland receive funding from the Survivors of Childhood Abuse Support Fund. List of survivor support organisations funded in 2020 to 2021 

National Trauma Training Programme

Through the 2018-2019 Programme for Government, we have committed to developing an adversity and trauma-informed workforce with the ambition to make a positive change in how people who have had adverse childhood experiences (ACES) and traumatic experiences in adulthood, such as physical or sexual abuse, are supported.

On 20 June 2018, the Deputy First Minister announced that a three year funding package of £1.35 million will be invested to create a national training programme, to support over 5000 frontline workers across all sectors of the Scottish workforce who are responding to psychological trauma. The programme of work will be led by NHS Education for Scotland (NES) and informed by people with lived experience, to create and deliver quality training resources. 

The new national training programme will be consistent with the 2017 Scottish Government/NES publication ‘Transforming Psychological Trauma: A  Knowledge and Skills Framework for The Scottish Workforce’. This framework lays out the essential and core knowledge and skills needed by all tiers of the Scottish workforce to ensure that the needs of children and adults who are affected by trauma are recognised, understood and responded to in a way which recognises individual strengths, acknowledges rights and ensures timely access to effective care, support and interventions for those who need it.

NES have developed a Scottish Psychological Trauma and Adversity Training Plan which will be published later in 2019. The purpose of this plan is to provide guidance and outline the steps that can be undertaken within and across organisations, services and agencies to develop, commission and embed the use of high quality trauma training.

A National Trauma Training Steering Group which includes representation from across the workforce, will provide the strategic oversight for this programme. The group will be chaired by the Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills and will meet for the first time on 15 May 2019.

We have developed a new animation in partnership with NHS Education for Scotland - 'Sowing Seeds’: trauma informed practice for anyone working with children and young people. This has been created for the next phase of the training programme aimed at those working with children and young people.