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Update on Redress Scheme: two organisations will run scheme

Two separate organisations will manage Scotland’s Redress Scheme for survivors of historical abuse when it opens later in 2021.

Shadow of two people reaching out

A new division of the Scottish government will provide application forms and support applications, however, a new body Redress Scotland will be responsible for making decisions on applications.

“Both the Scottish government Redress Division and Redress Scotland are committed to delivering Scotland’s Redress Scheme in a trauma informed way that makes the whole process as straightforward as possible for applicants and those supporting them,” said a statement from the Scottish government.

The Redress for Survivors (Historical Child Abuse in Care) (Scotland) Act 2021 received Royal Assent in April and survivors of historical abuse will be able to apply for financial redress payments of up to £100,000, as well as access to apology and support.

Chair of Redress Scotland will be Johnny Gwynne, the former Deputy Chief Constable of Police Scotland and past director of the UK National Crime Agency with responsibility for tackling child exploitation.

The Chief Executive of Redress Scotland will be announced shortly following interviews that took place in June. Panel members, who will be responsible for making decisions about applications, confirming eligibility and deciding on the levels of financial redress payments offered to survivors, are also being recruited.

Scottish Government Redress Division will have responsibility for the following:

  • Help survivors and others with questions about the redress scheme and how to apply
  • Help applicants access practical help (for example finding records) and emotional support
  • Ensure applicants are aware of their rights and options under the scheme, including the payment of applicants’ legal fees related to redress applications
  • Receive applications and passes to Redress Scotland for decision
  • Tell applicants if their application has been successful and what level of redress payment is being offered
  • Explain the process if an applicant wants a review on a decision from Redress Scotland
  • Facilitate official apologies to applicants if requested
  • Arrange access to counselling at the end of the process if applicants request it
  • Pay redress payments
  • Pay applicants’ legal fees related to redress applications
  • Pay applicants’ expenses related to redress applications.

Redress Scotland will be responsible for the following:-

  • Receive applications from the Redress Division when the survivor is ready for it to be considered and make decisions about whether the applicant is eligible
  • Inform the Redress Division what they decide, or if they need more information before they can decide
  • Inform the Redress Division what level of payment should be offered to the applicant

A different panel of Redress Scotland looks at the application and decision again if an applicant requests a review.

Chair of Redress Scotland will be Johnny Gwynne said: “Now that we have the ‘green light’ to start there is a lot to be done as we build a team which is well trained and ready to receive and carefully consider the volume of applications we expect from survivors.

“My focus now is to set up this new independent body with integrity and strive to earn the trust of survivors. I am mindful that the system through which applications pass touches two different organisations (Scottish Government and Redress Scotland). To this end I want to reassure you that we are already working jointly with the government officials designing the scheme to ensure the applicant experience is as smooth as possible and that at all stages care is taken in making this process as easy as it can be for those applying. Whilst this joint work is vital let me reassure you that Redress Scotland will be totally independent from Scottish government in its decision making,” he added.

A Survivor Forum will be established to provide a mechanism for survivor views and feedback on the delivery of the redress scheme. The Survivor Forum will not be a decision-making panel and members of the Forum will not see or be involved in considering any individual applications to the scheme. The Survivor Forum will be one way in which feedback can be provided as to how the system can be improved.

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