The Deputy First Minister of Scotland made a statement to Parliament on 23 October 2018 in which he committed to establish a financial redress scheme for survivors of abuse in care. He also offered an unreserved and heartfelt apology on behalf of the Scottish Government to all those who were abused as children while in care.
He was responding to recommendations from a Review Group which has consulted and engaged widely on redress. It recommended that a redress scheme is set up by legislation before the end of this Parliamentary term in March 2021. It also recommended that advance payments are made as soon as possible to survivors who may not live long enough to apply to the statutory scheme due to either ill-health or age.
Questions and answers
What is “financial redress”?
Financial redress has been described as “monetary payment to provide tangible recognition of the harm done”. Although no amount of money can make up for harm done, survivors have told us that redress would provide acknowledgement and recognition.
Who will be eligible?
It will be open to survivors of abuse in care. Further details will be considered in the next stage of scheme design.
When can I apply?
It will take time to design the detail of a redress scheme and it requires legislation which has to be passed first in the Scottish Parliament. It is important that we design a scheme that is sensitive and respectful to survivors and that we learn lessons from other countries that have already done so.
How much will I get? Will it affect my benefits? What about next-of-kin of deceased survivors? How much evidence will I need? What support will I get to help me apply?
All of these issues and more will need to be considered in detail as part of scheme design. Those survivors of in care abuse who took part in the national consultation on redress have identified issues that are important to them in relation to scheme design and these will be given full consideration in the next steps.
What about survivors who will not live long enough to apply?
There will be an advance payment scheme for those survivors who may not live long enough to apply to the statutory redress scheme due to either ill-health or age.
This was one of the main recommendations of the Review Group. It also recommended that for ill-health a definition of “approaching end of life” should be used, based on advice from medical professionals, and that the age threshold should be set at 70 and over, and subject to review. This was accepted.
When will advance payments be made?
We will make advance payments as soon as we possibly can, but some months will be required to develop and set up the scheme. An update on progress will be made in January.
Are advance payments only for “pre-64” survivors?
Advance payments are for survivors of in-care abuse who are 70 and over or who are approaching the end of their life on health grounds. When the abuse took place is not a factor. Many survivors who will be eligible are likely to be “pre-64” survivors.
Who will pay for the redress scheme? Will religious organisations and others be making a contribution to its cost?
One of the recommendations of the Review Group was that all those responsible should contribute to the redress scheme. We will begin discussions with providers of care services to consider ways in which we can respect this recommendation.
Who made the recommendations?
The Deputy First Minister was responding to recommendations submitted to him on 5 September by the InterAction Action Plan Review Group. The Review Group is a national group that includes survivor representatives, a care provider representative, Social Work Scotland, the Scottish Human Rights Commission, the Scottish Government and the Centre for Excellence for Looked After Children in Scotland (CELCIS).
What did the Review Group do to reach its recommendations?
There was a national consultation with survivors of in care abuse, and the summary report and analysis of findings are available on CELCIS’ website. The Review Group has also published reports on international redress schemes and the initial views of care providers and other professional organisations.
The following links provide more information about financial redress:
- full text of the Deputy First Minister’s statement and apology
- recommendations and accompanying reports from the Review Group
- Scottish Government policy on supporting child abuse survivors
Email enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you wish to report your abuse, contact Police Scotland on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.
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