10th March: Islington Council announced a proposal for a Non-Recent Child Abuse Support Payment Scheme
Islington Council have provided 5 documents relating to this proposed scheme
The Scheme is for survivors who ‘suffered emotional. physical and sexual abuse whist resident in the council’s children’s homes from 1966-1995. The proposal will enable survivors to receive a financial support payment without having to bring a civil compensation claim. It has been designed to enable eligible applicants to receive a payment more quickly than having to go through the trauma of the lengthy civil compensation claims process’
Islington Survivor Network received these documents on 10th March, held an initial meeting with council officers and consulted ISN Directors and our legal team at Leigh Day solicitors. The proposed scheme will be presented at the Council Executive meeting on 18th March and is open to consultation over the next 6 weeks. ISN will of course respond in detail to the proposals. This is the first scheme of its kind and is different from the redress scheme which ISN proposed over 3 years ago based on the Lambeth scheme. Since that time ISN has continually campaigned on this issue on behalf of over 200 survivors.
We broadly welcome this new proposal which suggests payments of £8000 as a flat rate payment to survivors of abuse in Islington children’s homes. The proposal gives important recognition to survivors harmed in Islington’s care and restates the council leader’s apology in 2017, when he also admitted the council’s culpability.
In applying for payment, the survivor’s own account will be the key material used to establish that abuse took place – as well as having been a resident in an Islington children’s home. ISN know of 48 children’s homes and now await the publication of the council’s own list.
ISN have a number of key points to make as part of our submission to the consultation. In particular we will argue strongly for the inclusion of neglect as a category of abuse and the inclusion of survivors abused in Islington foster placements. We will also seek to clarify the suggested process of application for the scheme to ensure easy accessibility and sensitivity to all ISN survivors.
When the scheme is finalised, ISN will provide advocacy, at every stage of the process, for survivors wishing to apply for payment.
In 2017 the Islington Councfil Leader said:
‘This was the darkest chapter in the council’s history.’
‘There was systematic failure all the way through the council through all those years.’
We are desperately sorry – children were subjected to terrible physical and mental abuse.’