For decades, some children in residential care in Scotland were failed by those entrusted to look after them. Scotland has taken steps to face up to the failings of the past by establishing Scotland’s Redress Scheme.
Since Scotland’s Redress Scheme launched in December 2021 it has delivered tangible redress in the form of acknowledgement, payment, apology and support to survivors who suffered abuse as children while in the care of the state. The Scheme is designed to be swifter and less adversarial than court action. While nothing can ever make up for the sufferings survivors have endured, the Scheme is making a real difference to many survivors as it goes some way to providing acknowledgement and recognition of the harm caused.
The Scheme is underpinned by three principles – dignity, compassion and respect – and these principles remain as relevant today as they were when the Scheme was designed. The Scheme is designed to be survivor led, trauma informed and responsive to feedback from survivors. Survivors are at the heart of everything we do, and I am personally committed to ensuring that survivor feedback on the Scheme is heard and acted upon.
The Scottish Government is committed to seeking financial contributions from those organisations which were responsible for the care of children at the time of abuse, whether providing care directly or otherwise involved in the decision-making processes and arrangements by which the children came to be in care in the place where the abuse took place. There are currently 17 entries on the live contributions list, with contributions to the Scheme totalling over £122 million.
Inclusion of the waiver is a core component of Scotland’s Redress Scheme, and in redress schemes operating around the world. It is used to encourage financial contributions from those organisations who were responsible for the care setting, or for placing children in those care settings, where they suffered abuse. The waiver provides contributors with the certainty that civil litigation will not be raised, thereby meaning that costs associated with potential litigation can be redirected by way of redress payments to survivors of the abuse, and goes some way in recognising the harm caused.
This report sets out the Scottish Government’s assessment of the impact of the waiver on applications for redress and the effectiveness of the waiver in encouraging public authorities, voluntary organisations, and others, to become Scheme contributors.
I am grateful to all the contributors to Scotland’s Redress Scheme for participating meaningfully in this national collective endeavour to recognise the harms of the past.
Shona Robison, Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Finance
There is a problem
Thanks for your feedback