Update on the Scottish in care abuse redress scheme

Scottish Government has recently updated its list of organisations who have agreed to make a “fair and meaningful” contribution to the cost of the Scottish in care abuse redress scheme. Fourteen contributors are now listed.

In a recent response to a freedom of information request, Scottish Government confirmed that, from the scheme opening on 8 December 2021 to 7 April 2022, 23 redress payments had been made. In response to the questions asked, amounts are only confirmed for the three most recent payments: one at the maximum £100k level and two at £10k. They also confirmed that, in the first quarter of the scheme’s operation, the number of applications received exceeded forecast, with 9% of the expected five year total of survivor applications received in that period. In response to the high number of applications received, a further ten redress caseworkers are being recruited to Redress Scotland, the independent body administering the scheme. A link to the Redress Scotland website is here.

In an earlier letter to the Convenor of the Scottish Parliament’s Education, Children and Young People Committee, John Swinney, MSP and Deputy First Minster of Scotland advised that, as at 8 March 2022, over 3,000 calls had been made to the Redress Scotland phone lines, with more than 750 survivor redress applications and around 50 next of kin applications received in that period.

To re-cap, the scheme is for redress payments upon successful application to those who were abused as children (under 18) in relevant residential care settings in Scotland before 1 December 2004. Successful applicants will receive a redress payment of one of £10k, £20k, £40k, £60k, £80k or £100k. The £10k is a “fixed rate payment” which may be topped-up to any of the higher levels by an “individually assessed payment” taking account of the nature, severity, frequency and duration of the abuse and any other relevant matter.

Next of kin of relevant deceased persons can apply for a redress payment of £10k, or a relevant share of that, where the person abused died on or after 1 December 2004. A litigation waiver is to be signed by applicants in exchange for a redress payment with the waiver operating in favour of Scottish Government and any “relevant scheme contributor” listed by Scottish Government as making a “fair and meaningful” contribution to the scheme.

Written by Frank Hughes, partner and Fiona McEwan, associate   

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