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.
What happens with my application when it goes to Redress Scotland?
Once your application has been passed to Redress Scotland, it is allocated to the first available day that the panel meets, called a ‘panel sitting day’. Some applications are defined as being ‘priority’ because of the health or age of the survivor making the application. These applications are allocated to the first sitting day that is available.
At Redress Scotland, we have set a target of considering applications within 30 working days. Unfortunately, we are currently unable to meet this target. We have provided more information about the reasons for this below.
After you have agreed your application is complete, it is sent to Redress Scotland by your Scottish Government caseworker. Your application will then be sent to the panel members who will read it carefully in advance of the panel sitting day.
On the panel sitting day, the panel members will discuss your application so that they can determine whether you are eligible for redress and (if you have applied for an Individually Assessed Payment) what level of payment is appropriate.
Why are Redress Scotland experiencing delays?
Redress Scotland is now receiving many more completed applications each month. This means that it is taking longer before completed applications are allocated to a panel and before they meet to make a decision. In turn, this means that it will be longer before a decision is made on your application and it is likely to take more than our 30 working days target.
We are taking steps to improve how long it takes for Redress Scotland to make a decision. We are currently recruiting new panel members and hope to welcome them on board in early 2024. At Redress Scotland, our intention is to reduce this timeframe back to our target of 30 days following the appointment and training of new panel members.
When can I expect to initially hear back from Redress Scotland?
Redress Scotland will write to survivors to let them know we have received their application from Scottish Government. A further letter will then be issued to let survivors know when a date has been scheduled for a panel to consider their application. If, in rare circumstance, a panel sitting date needs to be rescheduled we will also write to survivors to let them know about this change.
When can I expect a decision on my application?
Following the panel sitting day, the panel members will write to you to let you know what the decision is and describe their reasons behind it.
This letter will be sent to your Scottish Government caseworker, usually within five working days of the panel date, and your caseworker will then forward it on to you.
Who is eligible for redress?
The redress scheme in Scotland applies to abuse which happened to children under the age of 18 and before 1st December 2004, in most care settings.
How to apply
There is help and support available at each step in the process of applying.
Read our step-by-step guide >>
Help to apply
If you don’t want to do the application on your own or you find it difficult, you can ask for a caseworker to help you. A case worker can help with questions about your application and help you find any additional support you may need. You may also be able to get legal help.
Start an application now
This link takes you to the Scottish Government website, where you can download the application pack for redress. >>
Reporting historic abuse to Police Scotland
This link will take you to the Police Scotland website, where you can find out more about how to report your abuse to authorities.>>
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
The redress scheme in Scotland is covered by laws which protect your privacy and guarantee your right to ask for information.
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.