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London borough consults on support payment scheme for survivors of abuse at children’s homes

Islington Council has launched a consultation this month on a proposed support payment scheme for survivors of abuse suffered while placed by the local authority in one of its children’s homes from 1966 to 1995.

Under the scheme survivors would be able to receive a financial support payment of £8,000, without having to bring a civil compensation claim.

“Payments would be made through a process that is as straightforward and quick to access as possible, and that minimises the need to re-live past trauma, or the risk of further trauma or harm,” the council said.

It added that the support payment scheme was not a compensation scheme but rather it was designed to sit alongside the existing civil compensation route, not to replace it. 

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“The scheme would have no bearing on any civil compensation claims that abuse survivors may bring, except that a payment made under the scheme would be deducted from any compensation payment made,” Islington said. 

The scheme would become part of the council’s existing support offer for survivors which includes trauma counselling, specialist advice support and assistance for care, housing, appropriate welfare benefits, access to further education and employment and support to access care records. 

The consultation on the Non-Recent Child Abuse Proposed Support Payment Scheme is now open runs until 18 May. 

Carmel Littleton, Islington Council’s Corporate Director, People, said: “Abuse of children in Islington’s care homes was the worst chapter in the council’s history, and we are deeply sorry for the council’s past failure to protect vulnerable children. 

“Consultation has now begun on the proposed Support Payment Scheme, which would enable abuse survivors to receive a financial support payment without having to bring a civil compensation claim. 

“The council would especially like to hear from abuse survivors; people who were placed in Islington Council children’s homes between 1966-1995; and support groups for survivors and people who were placed in Islington Council care between 1966-1995. All comments or suggestions made during the consultation will be carefully considered before the proposed scheme is finalised."

She added: “The council today is a very different organisation from in the 1960s-1990s, and today protecting children from harm is its top priority.” 

The Leader of Islington Council has previously apologised to victims of child abuse in Islington care homes for the council’s past failings. 

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