The Redress Scheme provides swift and compassionate redress to those who survived neglect and abuse in the borough’s former children’s homes which were open from the 1930s to the 1980s and 1990s. The estimated cost of the scheme is expected to reach £100million.
The majority of applications since the scheme opened on January 1, 2018 have been from England; however people in Australia, Canada, the USA and the rest of Europe have also applied.
Lambeth set up the scheme in consultation with abuse survivors in the absence of a national equivalent, and since its establishment the council has been advising other Governments and public bodies looking to do the same.
The scheme gives survivors swift and compassionate redress. By simplifying the redress process the scheme means far more of the compensation goes to survivors of abuse, rather than being taken up by legal fees. It also means no survivor will have to restate their experience of abuse in court.
Cllr Jack Hopkins, Lambeth council leader, said: “As the new leader of this council I am committed to our pledge to survivors that this council will not be like previous administrations and will continue to face up to the past.
“This scheme is incredibly important as it acknowledges how very badly our former children’s home residents were let down. We know that many former children’s homes residents will never be able to forgive the council for their childhood experiences.
“But we are determined to do all we can to deliver swift and compassionate redress to those who have waited so long to even have acknowledgement of the suffering they experienced. I want to apologise to abuse survivors of behalf of the council.”
Package of support
In addition to financial compensation survivors are offered independent legal representation funded by the council, a formal apology from the council, a meeting with a senior council representative and free counselling support.
The Lambeth Children’s Homes Redress Scheme has a Harm’s Way Payment of up to £10,000 which compensates those who feared abuse or neglect and Individual Redress Payments of up to £125,000 which compensate those who survived neglect and abuse.
After 12 months, 851 Harm’s Way Payments have been processed with a total of £7.7 million having been paid to survivors. Sixty-eight applicants have received Individual Redress Payments totalling £915,680. A large number of further offers are being made on an ongoing basis. Compensation has been paid at a rate that is significantly quicker than the standard alternative of making a civil claim through the courts.
Independent Appeal Panel
An Independent Appeal Panel has been established by the council for applicants who wish to appeal their award, and a new Equality Impact Assessment has been carried out to ensure the scheme complies with Equalities and Human Rights legislation. An independent consultant has also been engaged to get feedback from applicants about their experience of accessing the scheme.
Lambeth Council secured a capitalisation direction from the Government to borrow up to £100 million to fund the scheme.
Separately, the national Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) has 13 different strands for investigation, including Children in the care of Lambeth Council. IICSA has announced that it expects the public hearings in relation to Lambeth will take place between April and December 2020.
To apply for Redress visit https://www.lambeth.gov.uk/redress
To read about the launch of the scheme visit https://love.lambeth.gov.uk/redress-scheme-adopted/