Publication - Consultation paper

Financial redress for historical child abuse: consultation summary

Published: 2 Sep 2019
Justice Directorate
Part of:
Law and order

This consultation seeks views on the detailed design of a statutory financial redress scheme in Scotland, scheme administration issues, and views on financial redress as part of a package of wider reparations for survivors of historical child abuse in care.

21 page PDF

223.1 kB

21 page PDF

223.1 kB

Financial redress for historical child abuse: consultation summary
Section 3: Approach to payments, evidence and assessment

21 page PDF

223.1 kB

Section 3:  Approach to payments, evidence and assessment

(Please see Questions 12 to 23 in the Respondent Information Form)

Approach to payments

The consultation with survivors in 2017 asked about different options for payment structures.  A combination payment was the preferred approach.  This was described as a flat-rate standard payment along with an option to apply for an extra payment based on their individual experience.  The assessment for the individual experience payment would take account of a range of factors such as: the type of abuse; the severity of abuse; how long the abuse went on for; and the lifelong consequences of the abuse.  

Given these views have already been expressed by survivors, we have agreed to proceed with a combination payment approach.  This would have two possible stages.  Stage One would not attempt to assess an individual’s experience of abuse or its impact. It could be considered more straightforward for applicants. It would be a flat-rate payment.   Stage Two would be an additional payment over and above Stage One and applicants could choose whether or not to apply for that second part.  Stage Two would require more information and supporting evidence than Stage One because it would look at a person’s individual circumstances.

We want to know what you think about how this would work in practice in relation to the evidence needed for each stage and how the assessment would work. 

Evidence issues

We want to know what you think about the evidence needed to support an application to the financial redress scheme.

Stage One would need written evidence of having been in care in Scotland. 

We ask about options for someone who is unable to get a document which shows they were in care.  

Many institutions have done a lot to improve access to records.  However, we could consider a legal power that requires institutions to release relevant documents they might have.

We ask about whether we should consider this.

For the more straightforward approach to Stage One application, there will need to be some form of confirmation that abuse occurred in care in Scotland.

We ask about different choices for this, including a signed declaration by the applicant, a short written description of the abuse and its impact, an existing written statement, detailing the abuse in care, if available.

Stage Two will require additional information so an assessment can be made of the abuse and its impact on the individual applicant

We ask about different choices for Stage Two, including any existing written statements, spoken testimony, either a short written description or a longer detailed one, existing or new medical and/or psychological assessment.

Views expressed in the earlier consultation were that spoken testimony of abuse and its impact should be an option if applicants are unable to provide written evidence. 

We ask if there should be an option to give spoken evidence and if so when.

Assessment issues for Stage Two

We want to know what you think about the assessment for Stage Two which will look at an individual’s experience of abuse and its impact.  It is very difficult to assess this because individuals can have very different responses to abuse and the impact on their life can be very different.  Remember the Stage Two assessment is optional.  Not everyone will want to go through this, which is why we will have the two stage approach which provides choice.

We want to know your thoughts on:

  • whether the length of time in care should be taken into account;
  • what balance the assessment should give to different types of abuse (physical, sexual, emotional, neglect);
  • which factors in relation to abuse and its impact might lead to higher levels of payment;
  • whether you think the redress is mainly for the abuse suffered, mainly for the impact of the abuse, or that both abuse and impact should be treated equally;
  • how to ensure that everyone is treated fairly.