CHILD ABUSE: Financial redress for survivors of abuse in care

16 June 2021 

Chair of independent body to decide financial compensation for abused children in care announced

By Lucy Ashton

The chair of the new independent body to decide financial compensation for abused children in care has been announced by the Scottish Government.

The Deputy First Minister John Swinney has announced the Chair of Redress Scotland, the public body which will make decisions on levels of financial redress awarded to survivors of historical child abuse in care.

Johnny Gwynne is the former Deputy Chief Constable of Police Scotland and past director of the UK National Crime Agency, pictured above right,  with responsibility for tackling child exploitation.

The Redress for Survivors (Historical Child Abuse in Care) (Scotland) Act 2021 received Royal Assent in April and the redress scheme will be open for applications before the end of 2021.

Survivors will be able to apply for financial redress payments of up to £100,000, as well as access to apology and support.

Addressing MSPs in Parliament, Deputy First Minister John Swinney, pictured left,  provided an update on the progress that has been made since March.

Mr Swinney said:  “Some children in residential care in Scotland were failed by those entrusted to look after them, often with catastrophic results. Scotland is taking steps to face up to those failings by establishing this financial redress scheme for survivors.

“In leading the establishment of Redress Scotland, Johnny is resolutely committed to building the type of independent and transparent organisation which is capable of delivering justice for survivors. To do so, he will work from the outset to instil a trauma-informed culture right across the organisation.

“I am in no doubt that he will bring the needed leadership and empathy to this key strategic role. The scheme will have embedded within it the principles of dignity, respect and compassion.”

Survivors will be able to apply for a fixed rate redress payment of £10,000, or an individually assessed redress payment which will involve a more detailed examination of their experience. The individually assessed redress payment levels are set at £20,000, £40,000, £60,000, £80,000 or £100,000.

Survivors that receive financial redress will also be offered access to some non-financial elements of redress such as acknowledgement, apology and therapeutic support.

Picture at top of page: Investigative journalists probe reports of a clerical abuse of children.

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