The Redress for Survivors (Historical Child Abuse in Care) (Scotland) Act 2021: financial contributions - statement of principles - information note

Information note explaining the key points in the statement of principles, what a ‘fair and meaningful’ contribution is and how the contributions element of the Redress Scheme will work in practice for applicants.

The Statement of Principles regarding financial contributions was originally published on 1 December 2021, with a revised version published on 18 January 2024.  The document sets out the principles the Scottish Ministers will use to decide whether an organisation has made a fair and meaningful contribution and should be added to the list, or subsequently removed and how that contribution will be allocated towards redress payments.


Scotland’s Redress Scheme (“the Scheme”) offers an opportunity for survivors who cannot or do not wish to take civil proceedings to receive a redress payment.

Each payment made will include a contribution from the Scottish Government (which may represent the whole payment).  Some payments may also include a contribution from an organisation(s) named on the contributor list, where, for example, that organisation was involved with the relevant care setting referred to in the application at the time of the survivor’s abuse.

A scheme without contributions from other organisations would not deliver the scheme the majority of survivors have told us they want.

All applicants will be required to sign a waiver to accept a redress payment offer. Signing the waiver means that the applicant will have waived their right to raise or continue any existing civil proceedings against the Scottish Ministers, as well as those scheme contributors on the list at the time Redress Scotland made their determination, for the abuse suffered.  Scheme contributors are organisations which have made a fair and meaningful contribution to the Scheme.

Fair and meaningful financial contributions to the Scheme are being sought from organisations that were responsible for the care of children at the time of the abuse

An organisation must exercise or have exercised functions in relation to safeguarding or promoting the welfare of children or protecting or furthering their interests to be considered as a scheme contributor.

This would include, for example, an organisation which owned, managed or was otherwise involved with a relevant care setting at the time of the historical child abuse or an organisation that arranged foster care or boarded out placements at the time of historical child abuse. 

A broad range of organisations are therefore potential contributors to the Scheme, including public authorities, voluntary organisations and other persons (other than individuals).

Being part of the Scheme means that scheme contributors will be facing up to their moral responsibilities, acknowledging the harm caused by historical child abuse, being part of a scheme built on dignity, respect and compassion and supporting faster and trauma informed access to redress for survivors and their next of kin.

'Fair and meaningful' contributions – what it means 

A fair and meaningful contribution is one where an organisation that is relevant to an application for redress pays the relevant share of any individually assessed payment above and beyond the Scottish Government’s contribution.

A meaningful contribution is one that represents sincere and committed participation in the national collective endeavour to acknowledge the harms of the past and which provides access to a trauma informed and non-adversarial redress scheme for survivors.

It means that scheme contributors participate on the understanding that they will not see or be able to comment on applications.

The Statement of Principles document rightly focuses on fair and meaningful contributions, which refer to a proportion of redress payments made which are relevant to a specific organisation. Despite this, fair and meaningful contributions are not about a particular organisation paying redress to any named applicant, rather it is a national, collective scheme to provide redress in respect of the harms of the past.

The level of contributions received will not impact redress payments

Redress payments will not be dependent upon organisations making financial contributions to the Scheme. The Scottish Government will meet the total cost of the payment, or a portion of the payment where relevant, if an organisation relevant to an application does not contribute to the Scheme.

There is no fixed budget or limit to the number or amount of redress payments which will be paid by the Scottish Government.

The Scottish Government is committed to giving financial redress to survivors, regardless of the financial contributions received, because it is the right thing to do.


The Scottish Ministers will decide if a proposed financial contribution is considered to be fair and meaningful.

Decision-making on applications will solely be the responsibility of Redress Scotland. Scheme contributors will not be able to view applications or challenge or appeal any decisions made by Redress Scotland.

The Scottish Government will only be able to view the applications for the purpose of processing them, but they will not be able to challenge or appeal any decisions made by Redress Scotland.

What the Scottish Government will pay towards the Scheme

The Scottish Government will initially meet all the costs of setting up and delivering the Scheme, including the costs associated with providing support to survivors during the application process, legal costs for survivors to apply and costs associated with delivering non-financial redress, such as therapeutic support.

In addition, the Scottish Government will solely fund:

  • all fixed rate payments (£10,000)
  • all next-of-kin payments (£10,000)
  • the greater of £10,000 or one third of each individually assessed payment
  • the balance of the individually assessed payment (after any other relevant contribution) if the responsible organisation(s) is not a scheme contributor (including where the organisation no longer exists and no successor organisation contributes)

It becomes more complicated when more than one organisation is relevant to an application.  In those cases, the Scottish Government will split the cost of a payment equally between any and all responsible organisation(s), after deducting the initial payment from the Scottish Government.  Where the organisation responsible for the relevant care setting is not a scheme contributor, the Scottish Government will fund this portion of the payment.

What local government will pay towards the Scheme

The Scottish Ministers are seeking a collective contribution from the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA) to reflect the legacy of local government responsibility for historical child abuse in relevant care settings.

The local government contribution will reflect the exposure of local authorities for:

  • the abuse carried out in care settings run by them or in boarded out or foster care placements arranged by them
  • the broader responsibility of local authorities for the placing of children in care
  • the oversight and scrutiny of care in local authorities
  • the historical failure to respond appropriately to allegations of abuse where they were made

The general approach to allocations is relevant for any application where a local authority is the responsible organisation.

The remainder of the local government contribution will be allocated towards the costs detailed in paragraph 5.1 of this information note.

Published list of the scheme contributors

The Scottish Ministers will publish a contributor list, which will be updated when required, for instance, if and when a new contributor joins the Scheme.

The contributor list will set out the organisations which have committed to and have made a fair and meaningful financial contribution to the Scheme. These organisations will be known as “scheme contributors”.

It will also include their acknowledgement of harm and the annual combined report prepared and published by Scottish Ministers according to section 99 of the Act.

Details of the contribution committed to by each scheme contributor will be included on the contributor list.

When an applicant receives their redress payment offer letter from Redress Scotland, they will also receive a copy of the contributor list as it was on the day the decision was made on their application. This contributor list will include all of the organisations the applicant’s waiver will apply to.

Having this information will help survivors make an informed decision on whether or not to sign the waiver.  The Scottish Government strongly encourages all applicants to seek legal advice when making this decision. 

Sections 92 to 96 of the Act provide for reimbursement of fees to solicitors for work reasonably undertaken in connection with applications.  The Redress for Survivors (Historical Child Abuse in Care) (Payment of Legal Fees) (Scotland) Regulations 2021 ( set out the standard rates for the fees, which are available to all applicants and are not means tested. 

It is, however, open to applicants to enter into an alternative private charging arrangement with their solicitor.  In that case, solicitors are precluded from recouping from the Scottish Government costs and expenses over and above those paid by the Scheme. 

Scheme contributors – the amount they will contribute and how they will pay

Two contribution models are available to potential contributors to reflect their different circumstances and historical legacy.  The approaches ensure participating organisations will make contributions which are fair and representative of the applications received which refer to a relevant setting with which the organisation was involved or in respect of foster care or boarded-out placements they arranged.

In both models, the Scottish Ministers will carefully consider and determine, in accordance with the Statement of Principles, if the proposed contribution is sufficient for an organisation to be added to the contributor list and have the waiver apply to them.

Once an organisation has committed to make a fair and meaningful contribution in agreement with the Scottish Ministers, and has paid the first instalment of their contribution, the organisation will be added to the contributor list.

If affordability or sustainability is an issue for an organisation, the Scottish Ministers may consider giving the organisation a longer amount of time to pay the fair and meaningful contribution amount.

In exceptional circumstances, the Scottish Ministers may decide that the contribution amount should be less than the estimated total number of payments that may be allocated to that organisation.  A reduction in the contribution amount will only be considered by Ministers where the organisation produces information and evidence on its financial circumstances and the services it provides.

The Scottish Ministers will give contributors on the payments defined model the opportunity to agree a maximum financial contribution to be paid (known as “a cap”).  This is to give scheme contributors certainty in regards to their financial planning and to make sure that important services delivered by the organisation are not compromised.

What happens when a scheme contributor fails to pay

Where a scheme contributor fails to make its agreed contribution, the Scottish Ministers will work with the organisation within a time-limited period to look at changing the payment schedule to ensure the payment can be made, where possible. If no agreement can be reached to make a missed payment, consideration will be given to removing the contributor from the scheme contributor list in accordance with the terms of their contract.  

If the scheme contributor is behind on their payments and owes money to cover the applications which have resulted in a redress payment, the organisation can be removed from the contributor list with retrospective effect.  If so, this means that the waivers that were signed in relation to this organisation will be revoked from the point where the money the organisation paid ran out.

Where a waiver has been revoked, rights will be returned to the applicants who signed the waiver in relation to this organisation after the date the organisation was retrospectively removed. Where this happens, applicants whose waivers were revoked will be able to raise civil proceedings against this organisation once again.




Email (redress):
Email (advance payments):
Telephone: 0808 169 9740 (we are only able to receive voicemail messages so please leave your name and number and we will phone you back as soon as we can)

Back to top