The Scottish government has published The Redress for Survivors (Historical Child Abuse in Care) (Scotland) Bill to support victims and survivors of non-recent child abuse in care in Scotland.
The legislation will enable survivors of historical child abuse in care in Scotland to have the opportunity to apply for financial redress payments of up to £80,000. The Bill aims to provide tangible recognition of the harm caused to those who were abused as children in relevant residential care settings before 1 December 2004.
Deputy First Minister John Swinney said: “For decades, many children were failed by the institutions and people entrusted to look after them. Financial redress is an important part of doing what we can to address these failings.”
The Redress for Survivors (Historical Child Abuse in Care) (Scotland) Bill will set up a new independent body, Redress Scotland, to assess applications for financial redress.
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 or £80,000.
The Bill seeks to establish a financial redress scheme that will be non-adversarial and sensitive to the needs of survivors. Importantly, it will offer a faster alternative to the civil court process and access to elements of non-financial redress such as therapeutic support.
In some circumstances, the next of kin of deceased survivors will be able to apply for a redress payment of £10,000.
The Scottish Government is seeking financial contributions from those involved in the care of children at the time they were abused.
Deputy First Minister John Swinney said: “The Redress for Survivors Bill will acknowledge and provide tangible recognition of harm as a result of historical child abuse in various residential care settings in Scotland. It will provide elements of accountability, justice and financial redress for those who wish to access it. The Bill seeks to put in place a scheme which treats survivors with dignity and respect and which faces up to the past with compassion.”
“Survivors of historical abuse in care have campaigned with dedication and perseverance for access to justice, improved accountability, and redress. They deserve to be listened to, heard and believed. This Bill is a tribute to their courage, determination and perseverance to ensure others never have to experience what they did,” he added.
Scotland’s statutory Redress scheme has been influenced by engagement and consultation with survivors.
More information about the Redress Scheme is available here.