Redress Scotland stands ready to support survivors as scheme opens for applications

Redress Scotland is pleased to announce that from today (9 December) the scheme to provide survivors of historical child abuse in care in Scotland with financial redress is open for applications.

Inviting survivors and their next of kin to apply, Redress Scotland Chair Johnny Gwynne, said:

“This is an important day in the lives of survivors, and a milestone in Scotland’s journey to addressing some of the deeply troubling incidents in its past.

“We are committed to supporting survivors, and working with campaigners and groups that support them, to acknowledge each individual experience and help people with compassion and care as they continue on their journey to healing.

“The Redress Scotland team and panel members consider it a privilege to be able to undertake this significant work and we stand ready to receive and make decisions on applications for redress.”

The scheme will be delivered by Redress Scotland in conjunction with the Scottish government, with a clear focus placed on the experience of the survivors who have put their trust in the process and shared their stories.

Survivors have been integral to the design and development of the scheme, lending their voice to help shape it and in the recruitment of the Chair Johnny Gwynne, Chief Executive Joanna McCreadie and panel members.

The scheme’s opening comes after the Redress for Survivors (Historical Child Abuse in Care) (Scotland) Act 2021 received Royal Assent in April.

Announcing that the scheme has opened for applications, Deputy First Minister John Swinney, said:

“Across Parliament, we have come together to confront the scale and horror of the abuse Scotland’s most vulnerable children suffered. We cannot make up for that pain, and we cannot take away the devastating impact it has had on people’s lives. But we can provide acknowledgement and tangible recognition of the harm caused, by offering redress to survivors through this scheme.

“I invite all survivors who are eligible for the scheme to apply, if it is the right choice for them. There is funding for independent legal advice to help survivors make that choice and support is available at every stage of the application process.

“There has been a strong survivor voice throughout the process of designing and developing the scheme and I want to thank all survivors who have contributed their time, commitment and insight. Their input has been crucial.”

How to apply

From 10am on Thursday, 9 December, phone lines will open for those who would like application packs posted to them. They can call 0808 175 0808 for survivor applications or 0808 281 7777 for next of kin applications.  A team of specially-trained case workers, working on behalf of Scottish Government, stand ready to help all applicants at each stage of the application process. One an application is made, it will then be referred to Redress Scotland for consideration.

Callers from abroad should call +44 131 297 6500. Phone lines are open Monday to Thursday 10am to 4pm until 21 December and again from 5 January 2022.

Further information on the scheme, applications forms and guidance 

Redress Scotland launches service with new website

Redress Scotland, the new body responsible for making decisions about applications to Scotland’s redress scheme, is up and running as of December 2021. Survivors of historic abuse in care can now apply for redress to the Scottish Government, with Redress Scotland – a fully independent organisation – assessing and deciding the outcome of each case.

Headed by Chair Johnny Gwynne and Chief Executive Joanna McCreadie, Redress Scotland will operate a panel system, with members drawn from a wide range of backgrounds including the justice system, social work, child safeguarding and clinical psychology. Founded on values of respect, dignity and compassion, Redress Scotland was established following widespread consultation with survivors and support groups.

Addressing MSPs in Parliament, Deputy First Minister John Swinney has said that “some children in residential care in Scotland were failed by those entrusted to look after them, often with catastrophic results. Scotland is taking steps to face up to those failings by establishing this financial redress scheme for survivors.”

Redress Scotland is providing information for applicants through a new website at www.redress.scot.  The site also provides links to groups providing emotional support and practical help to survivors.  Redress Scotland will continue to develop the website over the coming months.

Chief executive appointed

Redress Scotland has appointed Joanna McCreadie as Chief Executive.

Joanna brings a wealth of management experience in the charity sector, and a strong track record in stakeholder engagement. She has worked for local authorities, national inspectorates and charities.  Having worked with children and families for much of her career, she joins Redress Scotland from the Gannochy Trust, which gives grants around £5 million a year to charities.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney said “I would like to welcome Joanna McCreadie to the role of Chief Executive at Redress Scotland. Joanna brings a wealth of senior experience from the charitable sector, and her expertise and commitment will help Scotland establish the high-level redress scheme survivors deserve.”

Redress Scotland’s Chair, Johnny Gwynne, said “Joanna will provide responsive and compassionate leadership in her role as Chief Executive. I look forward to working with her as we build an effective organisation that carefully considers applications for redress and earns the trust of survivors.”