Scotland’s Financial Redress Scheme now open
In a statement to the Scottish Parliament (8 December 2021), Scotland’s Deputy First Minister John Swinney announced that the Financial Redress Scheme for survivors of historical child abuse in care has opened for applications.
The Scheme, which was developed with survivors, will be delivered by Redress Scotland and the Scottish Government. A new Survivor Forum is to be established to provide feedback and all applicants are invited to share their views.
The Advance Payment Scheme for survivors with a terminal illness or who are over 68, which was set up in April 2019 as an interim measure, will now close, having compensated over 700 survivors.
Deputy First Minister John Swinney said:
“Across Parliament, we have come together to confront the scale and horror of the abuse Scotland’s most vulnerable children suffered. We cannot make up for that pain, and we cannot take away the devastating impact it has had on people’s lives. But we can provide acknowledgement and tangible recognition of the harm caused, by offering redress to survivors through this scheme.
“I invite all survivors who are eligible for the scheme to apply, if it is the right choice for them. There is funding for independent legal advice to help survivors make that choice and support is available at every stage of the application process.
“There has been a strong survivor voice throughout the process of designing and developing the scheme and I want to thank all survivors who have contributed their time, commitment and insight. Their input has been crucial.”
Redress Scotland Chair Johnny Gwynne said:
“This is an important day in the lives of survivors for whom this scheme is intended, and a milestone in Scotland’s journey to addressing some of the deeply troubling incidents in its past.
“The Redress Scotland team and panel members consider it a privilege to be able to undertake this significant work.
“We stand ready to receive and make decisions on applications for redress.”
Joanne McMeeking, Head of Improving Care Experiences said:
“The opening of Scotland's Redress Scheme is a monumental step along a long road in seeking recognition and justice for survivors of historical abuse. Survivors have campaigned for decades, and while nothing can compensate for the harm done, redress and the support alongside this, acknowledges what happened and how they have fought to be recognised. It has been an honour and a privilege to work alongside survivors and organisations across Scotland to understand and make progress in addressing the needs of those who were harmed."
The scheme is expected to remain open for at least five years.