Redress Scheme: information for organisations

Information for organisations considering participating in the Redress Scheme for survivors of historical abuse in care in Scotland.

This document is part of a collection

Evidence requirements and the standard of proof

The redress scheme is an alternative to court and does not seek to establish fault or liability, therefore the evidence required to support a redress application is different to that required to support civil or criminal court action. Further information on the evidence requirements for the scheme are available in the statutory guidance.

Applicants may face challenges in obtaining evidence, both of being in care in the settings covered by the redress scheme, and of abuse that happened a long time ago. Many survivors will not have told anyone what happened to them at the time, or if they did, that it may not have been recorded or acted upon. It is also understood that record keeping was often inconsistent or inadequate in the past, and that for a variety of reasons, records which were kept may no longer be available. This understanding and knowledge has been applied in setting evidential requirements and care has been taken not to create barriers or burdens which are simply too high, or unachievable.

Individuals who apply to the redress scheme are required to submit:

  • a completed and signed application form, including a written statement either within that application form or attached to it
  • evidence of identification
  • a supporting document to confirm that the applicant was resident in a relevant care setting as a child before 1 December 2004 (read more in the statutory guidance on eligibility)
  • where the application is for an Individually Assessed Payment and relates to abuse that occurred whilst the applicant was resident in multiple relevant care settings, where possible, supporting documentation to confirm residency in each relevant care setting, should be provided
  • if an applicant was resident in a private boarding school when the abuse took place, the applicant must submit documentary evidence of who organised and paid for the placement
  • where the application is for an Individually Assessed Payment, supporting documentation to establish the abuse to which the application relates, must also be submitted
  • if a relevant payment has been made in terms of section 42 of the Act, supporting documentation in relation to that payment is required

Individuals who are applying for a next of kin redress payment will need to provide further information specific to their own eligibility for a next of kin redress payment.

Verification of evidence

Scottish Government caseworkers will seek to verify documents provided and notwithstanding these general requirements, there may be circumstances where one or more of the above is not submitted by the applicant. In such cases, the matter will be determined by Redress Scotland, and further information on this is set out below.

If the applicant has previously received a relevant payment, which is a payment in relation to the abuse mentioned in their application, then this will also be verified.

It is possible that an applicant may previously have applied to the scheme, for example they initially applied for a fixed rate payment, but later discovers new information and decides to apply for an individually assessed payment. In these circumstances the applicant would not need to resubmit the same evidence as the previous evidence can be relied upon, though further evidence may be required.

Determinations by Redress Scotland

Redress Scotland, as an independent body, is solely responsible for determining the eligibility of an applicant and the level of redress payment to be offered. Decisions about applications will be made by panels of members of Redress Scotland, appointed by the Chair of Redress Scotland.

When a Redress Scotland panel is considering an application to the scheme, they will take account of information provided in the application, as well as any other publicly available information that they consider is relevant, for example findings by the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry (SCAI).

Any individually assessed redress payment is to be offered in addition to a fixed rate redress payment, and so in these cases the panel will decide whether a further sum in addition to the fixed rate payment is appropriate. There are five levels of individually assessed payment that can be offered through the scheme. Including the fixed rate payment these are £20,000, £40,000, £60,000, £80,000 or £100,000.

The panel will decide what level of individually assessed payment is to be offered based upon the nature, severity, frequency and duration of the abuse presented in the application.

Key principles

The key principles Redress Scotland will follow when determining an application are:

The presumption of truth

The panel members must start with the presumption that any information provided by the applicant in respect of the application is true and accurate to the best of the applicant’s knowledge and belief. This presumption of truth is supportive of a non-adversarial and trauma informed approach to redress and recognises the challenges for individuals having to disclose personal and sensitive information about abuse.

Balance of probabilities

The Act sets out the standard of proof against which an applicant’s eligibility for a redress payment will be determined. This is the civil court standard of “balance of probabilities”. Something is established on the balance of probabilities if the evidence presented is sufficient for the decision-maker to conclude that it is more likely than not to be true.

All applications, either for fixed rate, individually assessed or next of kin redress payments will be subject to the same standard of proof.

The presumption of truth is the starting point, but it is a presumption and not an absolute. In some circumstances, having considered the application and any evidence submitted it will be appropriate to rebut or overturn the presumption. In other cases, despite the presumption, the supporting evidence may not allow Redress Scotland to be satisfied to the required standard of proof.

The redress scheme must be robust and credible to ensure survivors, contributing organisations and others, have confidence that the appropriate levels of redress payments are being paid to those eligible to receive them. The scheme must treat all applicants with compassion, dignity and respect, whilst having adequate checks and balances to deter and detect fraudulent applications.

Redress Scotland discretion and decision making

In exceptional circumstances, Redress Scotland may use its discretion as to whether the panel can be satisfied that the applicant was resident in a relevant care setting as a child without the production of supporting documents, or where case workers have been unable to verify the documents submitted.

Redress Scotland may also exercise its discretion in relation to the availability of evidence and what, if anything, is known about the particular care setting or arrangements in question. Before exercising its discretion, Redress Scotland may request further information from the applicant and any other relevant person or body. Where the absence of documentation relates to who arranged and paid for the applicant’s placement at a private fee-paying boarding school, Redress Scotland must seek further information about this aspect of eligibility.

Redress Scotland may also, if it considers it necessary to do so, invite the applicant to provide oral evidence on this aspect of their application in order to be satisfied, in the absence of supporting documentation, that the applicant was resident in a relevant care setting as a child.

Once Redress Scotland has made a determination on an application, they will provide the Scottish Ministers with the outcome and a summary of the information taken into account in reaching their determination and the reasons for that determination.



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