Parliament backs plans for survivors of historical child abuse in care in Scotland

Legislation to create a scheme for survivors of historical child abuse in care in Scotland to apply for financial redress payments of up to £100,000, as well as access to apology and support, has been passed by Parliament.

The Redress for Survivors (Historical Child Abuse in Care) (Scotland) Bill will also set up an independent body, Redress Scotland, to assess applications for the scheme.

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, £60,000, £80,000 or £100,000

In some circumstances, next of kin of deceased survivors will be able to apply for a redress payment of £10,000.

Financial contributions are being sought by the Scottish Government from those involved in the care of the children at the time they were abused and COSLA has already offered to contribute £100 million to the scheme.

The scheme will be open for applications as soon as possible and before the end of 2021. The recruitment of key appointments, including advertising the post of Chair of Redress Scotland, will begin later this month.

SNP MSP Ruth Maguire commented:

“This Bill has been made possible by survivors who have come forward with courage and determination to see justice. 

We cannot undo the wrongs of the past or take away the pain suffered but our Parliament has listened and responded.

To ensure that in the future those seeking redress will be treated with dignity, respect and compassion, and redress payments will reflect fair and meaningful contributions, from organisations that were responsible for the care of children, at the time when they were abused.”

Deputy First Minister John Swinney said:

“I am pleased that Parliament has passed a Bill that will establish a survivor-focussed route to redress. It has been a long and difficult journey for survivors of historical abuse in care, who have campaigned with dignity and dedication for this law. Scotland’s redress scheme is an important part of our response to survivors and to this dark chapter of our nation’s past.

“As a society, we are still coming to terms with the scale and horror of the abuse and the impact it had. Those responsible for the harms of the past have a responsibility to do the right thing today.

“This Bill is for survivors. Their courage, determination and perserverance has made a difference and will ensure others never have to experience the horrors they went through.”