First payments made to elderly and ill survivors of in-care abuse in Scotland

The first payments have been made under a new scheme set up to help survivors of childhood abuse in care who are elderly or terminally ill.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney announced details of the £10,000 advance payments three weeks ago – saying then that the move was a “significant milestone in our endeavours to do what we can to address the wrongs of the past”.

Since then five of the payments – which are being awarded while the Scottish Government continues to work on a statutory redress scheme for survivors of in-care abuse – have been made.

Those who suffered abuse in care prior to December 2004, and who are aged 70 or over, or who are terminally ill, are eligible for a flat rate payment under the scheme.

A dedicated phone line set up to help abuse survivors apply for the money has taken about 150 calls, with more than 100 application packs also sent out.

Mr Swinney (pictured) said: “I am pleased that five payments have already been approved under the Advance Payment Scheme in such a short space of time, with a further 36 applications currently being considered.”

He added: “While nothing can take away the pain that individuals have suffered, the payments are recognition of the harm done to children who were abused while in care in Scotland.

“We put in place a simple yet robust application process and are focused on helping survivors and their families throughout the process.”

Those applying for a grant do not need to provide proof that they were abused, but are required to submit documentary evidence which shows that they were in care.

Copyright (c) Press Association Ltd. 2019, All Rights Reserved. Picture (c) Jane Barlow / PA Wire.