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Agenda item

Non Recent Child Abuse Support Payment Scheme

Decision:

AGREED RECOMMENDATIONS

Reasons for decision – as specified in the report

Other options considered – as specified in the report

Conflicts of interest / dispensations granted – none

 

Minutes:

The Leader agreed to revise the order of the agenda so that Item E7, Non Recent Child Abuse Support Payment Scheme, would be considered as the first item of business.

 

The Leader made the following statement in relation to the report: 

 

“This report relates to the abuse of children in Islington’s care homes between 1966 and 1995. It is no exaggeration to say that this was the darkest chapter in the council’s history. Children, placed in our care, were subjected to terrible physical, sexual and mental abuse which, understandably, has had a deeply traumatic effect on those who are now adults and continue to suffer. 

 

As Leader of Islington Council I want to say again we are deeply sorry for the council’s past failure to protect vulnerable children. Although the word ‘sorry’ feels inadequate, I offer this apology to every single person who has been scarred by the events of that terrible time. Today it is our duty as a council to do the right thing and to try to address the failings of the past. 

 

The report recommends that the Executive agrees a proposed Support Payment Scheme for people who suffered emotional, physical and sexual abuse whilst resident in the council’s children’s homes from 1966-1995 and I am sure all my colleagues will strongly support this recommendation. 

 

The proposed 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.

 

Islington Council today is a very different organisation, and protecting children from harm is our top priority. But we rightly remain deeply sorry and ashamed of the failings of the past.”

 

The Leader also advised that an updated Resident Impact Assessment, Appendix D to the report, had be circulated in a second despatch of papers.

 

The Leader provided an opportunity for members of the public present to ask questions related to the proposed scheme and invited those affected to take part in the consultation.

 

RESOLVED:

 

(i)           That the options for implementing a SPS and the associated legal and financial risks be noted.

 

(ii)          That the proposed SPS (Appendix A to the report) be approved for the purposes of consultation with ISN and other stakeholders.

 

(iii)         That the consultation statement (Appendix B to the report) be approved.

 

(iv)        That the Corporate Director of Resources, following consultation with the Leader, Executive member for Health and Social Care, Corporate Director People and Acting Director of Law and Governance, be authorised to agree the consultation document.

 

(v)          That the period of consultation will be 6 weeks be noted.

 

(vi)        That a further report on the SPS will be submitted to the Executive detailing the outcome of the consultation exercise be noted.

 

(vii)       That it is recommended that one-off windfall monies and unspent contingencies be used in the first instance to fund the SPS at the discretion of the Section 151 Officer be noted. An accurate assessment of the running costs of the SPS will need to be undertaken when the SPS has proceeded through consultation.        

 

 

Reasons for decision – as specified in the report, the proposed SPS will provide financial support for eligible survivors / victims of non-recent abuse suffered when in the council’s children’s homes.

Other options considered – as specified in the report, the Executive considered the proposed Support Payment Scheme (SPS), a Lambeth type Redress Scheme, and implementing no scheme.

Conflicts of interest / dispensations granted – none

 

Supporting documents: