Financial redress for historical child abuse in care: consultation analysis

Analysis of responses to the pre-legislative consultation on the detailed design of a statutory redress scheme for historical child abuse in care.

2. The respondents and responses

2.1 This chapter provides information about the respondents to the consultation and the responses submitted.

Number of responses received and number included in the analysis

2.2 The consultation received 292 responses. However, 12 of these were removed prior to analysis. The reason for this is as follows. Ten respondents submitted more than one response to the consultation. In nine cases, the respondent submitted two different responses. In the tenth case, the respondent submitted three different responses. In every case, responses from the same individual were combined to create a single amalgamated response. Where there were differences in the respondent’s answers to closed questions, the answers from both responses were retained. This process resulted in the removal of eleven responses – while the ten amalgamated responses were retained for the analysis. In addition to this, one organisation requested that their response be withdrawn.

2.3 Thus, the analysis in this report is based on 280 responses (292 submitted responses minus 12 removed responses).

About the respondents

2.4 Responses were submitted by 51 organisations or groups and 229 individuals. (See Table 2.1.)

Table 2.1: Types of respondent
Respondent type n %
Individuals 229 82%
Organisations 51 18%
Total 280 100%

2.5 The consultation questionnaire invited individual respondents to indicate if they identified as a survivor of abuse in care. Not all individuals answered this question. Among those who did, 91% identified as survivors (Table 2.2).

Table 2.2: Do you identify as a survivor of abuse in care?
n %
Yes 201 91%
No 14 6%
Prefer not to say 6 3%
Total 221 100%

2.6 Similarly, organisational respondents were given a list of ten categories and asked to indicate which category best described their organisation. Respondents could tick more than one category, and 14 of the 51 respondents did so. Table 2.3 shows the spread across categories, based on self-identified organisation type. Respondents who did not indicate a self-selected organisation type were allocated to a category by the consultation team and / or the analysts, and these organisations are included in the table.

Table 2.3: Self-identified organisation type
Organisation type n %
Local authorities 13 25%
Third sector or community groups 12 23%
Current care provider 10 19%
Legal sector organisations 9 17%
Previous care provider 7 13%
Other public sector organisations 6 12%
Survivor organisations 4 8%
Academic / educational organisations 1 2%
Private sector organisations 1 2%
Other organisation types 9 17%
Base – total number of organisational respondents 51

Five of the respondents selecting the ‘other organisational types’ category provided further details describing themselves as a grant aided special school, a health and social care partnership, a partnership of four organisations commissioned to deliver support to survivors of in care abuse, a professional organisation and an umbrella support and training body.

Percentages do not total 100 due to selection of multiple categories.

2.7 In order to assist the analysis, the self-selected categorisation shown above was adjusted in two ways. First, respondents selecting more than one category were allocated to a single category. Second, the categories were rationalised, reducing the number from ten to six. In particular, single combined categories were created for (i) current and previous care providers, and (ii) third sector, community groups and the survivor groups. This resulted in the categorisation shown in Table 2.4. This categorisation is used in the analysis throughout the remainder of this report.

Table 2.4: Organisation type – single category
Organisation type n %
Local authorities and public sector partnerships 13 25%
Other public sector bodies 5 10%
Current or previous care providers 11 22%
Third sector, including survivor groups 9 18%
Legal sector organisations 9 18%
Other organisational respondents 4 8%
Total 51 100%

Other organisational respondents include three representative or professional bodies and one unidentified organisation.

Percentages may not total 100 due to rounding.

2.8 Table 2.4 shows that the largest category of organisation was that of local authorities and public sector partnerships. These accounted for a quarter of organisational responses (25%). Other public sector bodies accounted for a further 10% of organisations. Current and previous care providers, third sector organisations including survivor groups, and legal organisations each accounted for around a fifth (between 18% and 22%) of organisations. The remaining category of ‘other organisation respondents’ comprised 8% of all organisations and was made up of three representative or professional bodies and one unidentified organisation.

2.9 A complete list of organisational respondents is provided at Annex 2.

The content of responses

2.10 As noted above, over four-fifths of the responses to the consultation came from individuals, most of whom self-identified as survivors of abuse in care. Thus, the overall quantitative findings presented in the tables in this report are very much shaped by the views of survivors.

2.11 There are also some important points to note about the written comments from organisations and individuals.

  • First, organisations tended to provide longer, more detailed answers to the questions than individuals. In general, individuals provided very short comments.
  • Second, several organisational respondents chose not to respond to significant sections of the consultation, in some cases because they took the view that the design of the scheme should be directed primarily by the views of people who were abused in care. At the same time, amongst individuals there was a relatively high proportion of ‘no comment’ and ‘don’t know’ answers across the questionnaire – particularly in relation to some of the more technical questions.
  • Third, in relation to some elements of the consultation, the written responses provided by individuals suggested a degree of misunderstanding of the issue being asked about or the specific wording of the question. Where this appears to have been relatively common, and caution is warranted in interpreting the quantitative data, it has been highlighted in the accompanying text throughout this report.
  • Fourth, very occasionally, written comments from respondents appeared to be at odds with their responses at the closed question. However, to preserve the integrity of the original responses, these have not been ‘corrected’.
  • Fifth, where counts have been provided in the report of the number of respondents providing written comments in response to a question, these include any comment, including very short answers (such as ‘yes’, or ‘I agree’) that effectively restate the response to the closed question, and comments where the respondent said ‘don’t know’ or ‘no comment’.
  • Finally, it was common for individuals to provide personal accounts of abuse in their responses to the questions, sometimes without directly addressing the question itself. While these accounts are important and need to be acknowledged, they are not covered in any detail in this report.

Responses to individual questions

2.12 Not all respondents answered all the questions in the consultation questionnaire. Overall, response rates were generally higher for questions in Part 1 of the consultation questionnaire compared to Part 2 for both individuals and organisations.

2.13 Among individuals the response rates for closed questions ranged from 70% for Question 38 on the impact of financial contributions to 100% for Question 7 on adopting the definition of abuse used in the Limitation (Childhood Abuse) Scotland Act 2017. (Note that this analysis considers single-response questions only.) The only closed questions in Part 1 of the questionnaire which attracted responses from fewer than 90% of individuals were Questions 38 and 43, both on the issue of financial contributions. By contrast, response rates for open questions were lower, ranging from 40% for Question 4 on defining ‘in care’ abuse to 86% for Question 10 on the eligibility of those with criminal convictions.

2.14 Among organisations, response rates to closed questions ranged from 57% at Question 58 on the provision of an apology to victims / survivors to 86% at Question 28 on assistance for victims / survivors in obtaining evidence. (Again, this analysis considers single-response questions only.) For organisations, the response rates for open questions ranged from 35% for Question 52 on the possible disadvantages of co-location of scheme administration, to 88% for Question 15 on Stage One evidence requirements.

2.15 In general, individuals were more likely than organisations to answer the closed questions, while organisations were generally more likely than individuals to provide comments at the open questions.

2.16 See Annex 2 for full details.



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