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£6.5m to be spent on abuse compensation

£6.5m to be spent on abuse compensation

Friday 16 August 2019

£6.5m to be spent on abuse compensation


Around £6.5million is expected to be spent on a new scheme offering lump-sum compensation to children who were abused or suffered harm while in care between 1945 and 2005, it has emerged.

The money will be paid out under a newly-launched Redress Scheme, which will allow former residents of Les Chênes secure school, children’s homes or foster care to claim between £500 and £70,000 for inappropriate physical treatment, including sexual abuse.

Under the scheme, they'll also be able to claim up to £3,000 for therapy to treat the psychological effects of abuse they have suffered. Some of the money, meanwhile, will be spent on lawyers' fees.

However, in order to accept the compensation, the former victims of the care system will have to sign a contract preventing them from talking about it. 

Over £3.7million for this has been set aside for the scheme between 2020 and 2023 in the Government Plan, with the rest of the money expected to come from contingency funding this year.

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Pictured: £3.7m has been set aside for the scheme in the Government Plan.

When the scheme was launched, no official figure was given as to how much the claims were expected to total, but now that information has been confirmed in response to a Freedom of Information requestAsked by Express how the £6.5million figure was calculated and how many care-leavers are predicted to make a claim under the scheme, the government did not respond. 

The new redress scheme follows a separate redress initiative launched in 2012. However, since then, more care system failings were uncovered in the Care Inquiry report, leading to the creation and launch of a new one to address this on 1 July this year.

The new redress scheme is split in two parts: redress for those who "suffered due to the harsh regime" at Les Chênes secure school (known as Greenfields from 2003), which was used as a detention facility for young offenders, and compensation for victims of physical and/or sexual abuse while resident in a government children's home or a foster care placement.

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Pictured: Amounts offered to former Les Chênes residents.

The former group will be able to claim between £1,000 and £10,000 for any length of time spent at Les Chênes, and an additional £500 to £4,000 if they suffered "inappropriate physical treatment" while there.

Redress payments for those who suffered physical or sexual abuse while at a children's home or in foster care are able to claim between £11,500 and £70,000.

Those whose claims are successful will then have to agree to non-disclosure.

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Pictured: Compensation offered to those in a children's home or foster care.

"If you want to accept the redress payment you will need to sign an agreement confirming that... you understand that the amount of the payment is private and confidential.

"This means you cannot talk publicly about the amount of the payment. The Government of Jersey is also required to keep details of the payment private and confidential," the terms of the scheme state.

Those who do not accept the amount offered will not be allowed to negotiate - if they refuse, they will be able to claim the rejected offer within six months, otherwise no alternative will be forthcoming,

contract lease signature

Pictured: Claimants will not be allowed to speak publicly about their compensation.

The scheme closes on 30 June 2020.

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