The Turnbull Government’s redress scheme for survivors of child sexual abuse in institutional settings is planned to commence in 2018.
The Turnbull Government has listened to survivors and accepts the recommendation of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse that each jurisdiction and all individual institutions must make amends and take responsibility for wrongdoing.
A national scheme with states, territories and non-government institutions able to join on a ‘responsible entity pays’ basis was a key recommendation of the Royal Commission and is the best way to ensure fairness and justice for all survivors.
The Turnbull Government has been working with the Independent Advisory Council since its establishment late last year, on the design and implementation of the Commonwealth Redress Scheme.
The 2017-18 Budget commits an initial amount of $33.4 million to meet the Scheme’s establishment costs and also confirms ongoing access to support services for survivors.
The Scheme will provide survivors with a monetary payment, psychological counselling and, if requested, a direct personal acknowledgement and response from the responsible institution.
From March 2018, a dedicated telephone helpline and website will be available to provide information to survivors and their families about the Scheme. These services will also connect survivors with legal and community support services that are currently provided through the Royal Commission and which will continue to be funded to support the Scheme.
From July 2018, applications for redress will be open to survivors of abuse in Commonwealth institutions. The redress will include individual payments of up to $150,000. Applications will be assessed by an expert panel against a range of factors and criteria, based on advice from the Independent Advisory Council.
We continue to encourage the states, territories and non-government institutions to maximise the impact of the Scheme by opting‑in on a ‘responsible entity pays’ basis, which will ensure the best possible redress scheme for survivors.
The Minister for Social Services and the Attorney-General will provide a detailed briefing to state and territory Attorneys-General later this month on the detail of the opt-in Scheme that has been designed based on the advice of the independent Advisory Council. There will be a similar briefing for non-government organisations.
This will allow states, territories and non-government institutions to make informed decisions about joining the Scheme, thereby providing simple and effective access to redress for survivors.
The Turnbull Government is demonstrating national leadership by following the Royal Commission’s recommendation and developing a best-practice, simple and supportive redress scheme. We will continue to work with the Independent Advisory Council, the states and territories, and non‑government institutions on survivor-focused implementation and delivery arrangements for the Scheme.
The nation must be united in supporting survivors of institutional child sexual abuse. Each state, territory and non-government institution must take responsibility for providing redress to those harmed in their care.
Action on preventing child sexual abuse in the future does not stop here.
The Turnbull Government will continue working with state and territory governments, law enforcement agencies, the community sector and researchers to keep children safe. This includes work under the National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children to develop the National Statement of Principles on Child Safe Organisations, as well as funding for a range of early intervention and prevention services, including:
- the Children and Parenting Support Program;
- Communities for Children; and
- the Intensive Family Support Service.
More information about how survivors can access assistance through the Royal Commission support services is available at www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au/support-services.