Justice and support for child abuse survivors

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

In October 2018 the Deputy First Minister of Scotland made a statement to Parliament in which he committed to establish a financial redress scheme for survivors of historical abuse in care.

Information notes on financial redress for survivors of historical child abuse in care, published in October 2018, April 2019 and September 2019, provide updates on our work on this scheme. 

Information note 1 (October 2018) provides more information about the scheme itself and the work that has led to the commitment.

Establishing a financial redress scheme requires legislation to be passed in the Scottish Parliament. We have now launched a pre-legislative public consultation to hear views on detailed aspects of the design of a redress scheme, how those responsible could make financial contributions, and how redress might fit alongside wider support for survivors. The findings of the consultation will help shape the legislation. Information Note 3 (September 2019) explains the consultation in more detail.

The Deputy First Minister, responding to recommendations from a review group, made a commitment to make payments to survivors who may not live long enough to apply to the statutory scheme, and the Advance Payment Scheme opened on 25 April 2019. It is for those who suffered abuse in care in Scotland before December 2004 and either have a terminal illness or are age 70 or over. Information Note 2 (April 2019) provides more detail.

Financial redress is part of a package of measures that we have taken to help victims and survivors of historical child abuse in care. Other measures include:

  • the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry which is investigating the abuse of children in care in Scotland, and making recommendations for changes to legislation, policy and practice
  • the National Confidential Forum, which was set up to listen to, and acknowledge, people’s childhood experiences of institutional care in Scotland
  • Future Pathways which is providing person-centered support to survivors of historical child abuse in care
  • changing the law to remove a barrier which prevented child abuse survivors from accessing civil justice -  The Limitation (Childhood Abuse) (Scotland) Act 2017 which came into force on 4 October 2017

Support organisations and initiatives

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

Survivor Support Innovation and Development Fund

We set up the Survivor Support Innovation and Development Fund to support development and innovation that enables service providers to expand their capacity and capability by partnering with local statutory and/or other third sector services. This ensures better integration of services for survivors:

Innovation and Development Fund Network

The Innovation and Development Fund Network brings together voluntary organisations at regular networking events to share information on project development, which in turn promotes wider learning and improved ways of working.

These events provide opportunities for working together to build capacity for delivering good quality services, and for engaging with policy development activities such as developing a national training framework.

The Network aims to meet at least three times a year. 

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.