Payouts considered for child sex abuse victims in care
A consultation has begun on the scheme which, if introduced, would provide financial redress to those who suffered abuse while in care.
Respondents are being asked whether the families of deceased victims should be able to apply for money and whether so-called interim payments should be made to those in old age.
Many of those who suffered abuse while in care and campaigned for redress and a public inquiry have since died.
They include Frank Docherty, one of the founders of In-Care Abuse Survivors (Incas), who passed away in April a few weeks before the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry’s public hearings started.
The public consultation on financial redress was launched yesterday and will run until November 17.
Joanne McMeeking, head of improving care experiences at Celcis (the Centre for Excellence for Looked After Children in Scotland), said: “Celcis is pleased to support survivors of abuse in care with this important work and we hope that survivors of abuse can take part in the consultation.
“This is an opportunity for survivors to contribute their ideas about how a potential redress scheme might work best for them.
“Completing this consultation questionnaire gives survivors a way to have their ideas about alternative forms of financial redress seen and heard.
“All of the information gathered in the consultation will be used to present options to the Scottish Government for consideration when it decides whether to establish a financial compensation/redress scheme.”
Council umbrella organisation Cosla is among those to have previously called for a national redress scheme.
Cosla said the model would prevent local authorities being inundated with potentially thousands of compensation claims following the introduction of the Limitation (Childhood Abuse) Scotland Bill, which sets aside the three-year time bar on bringing civil actions.
An inquiry in Northern Ireland has recommended a redress scheme with payments ranging from £7,500 to £100,000.
Incas chair Helen Holland said: “This consultation gives everyone who has experienced abuse in the Scottish care system the chance to share their views. This allows all of us the opportunity to have our voices and opinions heard as we continue to work forward towards redress and reparation.”
Deputy First Minister John Swinney said: “I would encourage all survivors to take this opportunity to have their voice heard in this consultation.
“All responses will be considered by Celcis to prepare an independent report setting out options for what a redress scheme could look like.”