If you suffered abuse while you were a child in care in Scotland in the past, you can apply for redress. You can also apply if you are the next of kin of a survivor of abuse. There are more details here >>


What does Redress Scotland mean by abuse, and who is eligible?

There are different kinds of abuse in care. These are emotional abuse, neglect, physical abuse and sexual abuse. The Act – and Scotland’s Redress Scheme – covers all of these kinds of abuse.

Scotland’s Redress Scheme applies to abuse that happened when the survivor was in a care setting and below the age of 18, and where the abuse happened before 1st December 2004. A ‘care setting’ is a place or an institution where children are looked after by people who are not their family. This includes most children’s homes, schools, care facilities, secure accommodation boarded-out and foster homes.

Timescales at Redress Scotland

Redress Scotland is now receiving more completed applications from the Scottish Government every month. This means that it is taking longer before completed applications are allocated to a panel so they can make decisions.

Find out more about how decisions are made in panels.

Find out more about priority categories and our targets for making decisions.

The timescales below are accurate at the time of publication and we do not anticipate that there will be any significant increase in the near future. However, it is possible that timescales may increase in the longer term (for example, if we receive more applications).

Current Information on Timescales (May 2024)

• For all priority 1 applications (applicants who have a terminal illness) and all priority 2 applications (applicants who are aged over 68), we would expect the panel to take place within 6 weeks of your application being received by Redress Scotland.
• For Fixed Payment and Next of Kin applications, we would expect the panel to take place within 8 months of the application being received.
• For all other types of application, we would expect the panel to take place within 8 months of the application being received.
• For any application that has been submitted for a Review or a Reconsideration, we would expect the panel to take place within 2 months of your application being received by Redress Scotland.

Timescales may decrease if we are able to consider more applications each month. We will review and update this information on a monthly basis, so we would encourage you to check regularly.

We are aware that this waiting period is really difficult for many people, and that the application process may have already taken a long time before the application is sent to us. We are working hard to limit the time you will have to wait and have more panels taking place every month. We also want to provide the most accurate information we can about this.

Decision Making at Redress Scotland

What happens once I have completed my application? 

 After you have agreed your application is complete, it is sent to Redress Scotland by your Scottish Government caseworker. Your application will be shared with panel members who will read it carefully before the panel day. 

Some applications are given a ‘priority’ because of the health or age of the survivor making the application. Priority applications are allocated to the first panel day that is available. 

Find out more about completing your application on the Scottish Government website.

What happens to my application once Redress Scotland receive it

Your application is placed in a queue once Redress Scotland staff receive it. The length of this queue depends on the priority status of your application. For up-to-date information on timescales, please click here.

Once your application has reached the front of the queue, it will be allocated to a panel day. Your application will be shared with panel members 2 weeks in advance of the panel day, so they have time to prepare.

We will write to you to tell you when your panel date will be 

Before the panel day, each panel member will use your application pack to make their own notes about your application. In their notes, they will record their view on whether your application is eligible for redress. If you are submitting an Individually Assessed Payment application, the panel members will also each record their view on the level of redress award they might make 

The panel members use the Redress for Survivors (Historical Abuse in Care) (Scotland) Act 2021 thelp them make their decision on your application. When they make a decision, they must also consider the EligibilityEvidential Requirements and Determinations by Redress Scotland statutory guidance and the Assessment Framework statutory guidance.

Panelare made up of 2 or 3 panel members, depending on the type of application. They meet online for the panel day and can look at between 1 and 6 applications depending on the size of the application packs. Oaverage, 4 applications are considered per sitting day.  

The panel members use your application and their own notes to discuss whether your application is eligible for redress. If you have submitted an Individually Assessed Payment application, they will discuss the appropriate level of award, using the Assessment Framework statutory guidance. 

On the sitting day the panel members will: 

  • Remind each other of the values of Redress Scotland, which are Dignity, Compassion and Respect
  • Adhere to the evidential requirements for the redress scheme.  
  • Decide if your application is eligible for redress – this could be regarding a care setting or length of time in care.  
  • Make sure there is sufficient supporting documentation for your application – this could be regarding eligibility or support for your statement of abuse.  
  • Discuss any neglect, emotional, sexual and physical abuse described in your application. For individually assessed payment applications, the level of award for each type of abuse will be agreed.  
  • Consider other relevant factors, taking account of all of your experiences of abuse.  
  • Decide whether they can make an award of redress and, for an individually assessed payment, what level of award is most appropriate. They may not be able to make a decision on the day if they need to ask you for more information about your experiences of abuse.  
  • Write your decision letter with the reasons for their decision or their request for additional information.  

Redress Scotland staff then check all of the letters written by panel members. This is to make sure the decision and the reasons for the decision are clear, or, if the panel are asking for more information, that it is very clear what they are asking forThis usually takes up to 5 days to complete. Once completed, your letter is shared with your Scottish Government caseworker and included with the other information in your decision pack.  

Next of kin

Applying as a survivor’s family member

When a survivor of abuse in care has died, their spouse, civil partner, co-habitant or children can apply for redress. This is called a next-of-kin application, and can be made as long as the survivor was eligible and had not already received a redress payment.

If a next-of-kin application is successful, the whole amount of redress can be paid to a spouse, civil partner or cohabitant, or divided between surviving children.

Other useful information

Helpful documents

The redress scheme in Scotland is covered by laws which protect your privacy and guarantee your right to ask for information.

Read more on these laws >>

Support for survivors

Organisations provide different kinds of support to survivors of abuse, whether or not they qualify for payment under the redress scheme. This could be counselling or therapy, or just an understanding person to talk to.

See what support is available >>