Skip to content

Agenda item

Non Recent Child Abuse Support Payment Scheme




Reasons for decision –  to provide financial support for eligible survivors / victims of non-recent abuse.

suffered when in the council’s children’s homes.

Other options considered – as detailed in the report, the scheme was subject to consultation

Conflicts of interest / dispensations granted – none




The Leader introduced the item by making the following statement:


Tonight’s meeting includes a report about Non-Recent Child Abuse in Islington’s children’s homes. Abuse of children in Islington’s children’s homes was the worst chapter in the council’s history. Children, placed in our care, were subjected to terrible abuse which has had a deeply traumatic effect on their lives.


As Leader of Islington Council, I again want to say we are deeply sorry for the council’s past failure to protect vulnerable children in our care. I offer this heartfelt apology to everyone who suffered abuse, and who continues to suffer because of it. We know that nothing can make amends for the trauma caused, but it is our responsibility as a council to try to address past failings, and to offer support.  


Tonight’s report recommends that the Executive approves a Support Payment Scheme for people who suffered abuse in the council’s children’s homes from 1966-1995. The scheme will enable abuse survivors to receive a financial support payment of £10,000, without having to bring a civil compensation claim, and more quickly than having to go through the trauma of the lengthy civil compensation process.


Payments will 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. Survivors or care-experienced people who suffered abuse, whether they make an application or receive a payment under the scheme or not, will of course still be able to bring a civil compensation claim.


The scheme will form part of the council’s wider support for survivors which offers trauma counselling, specialist advice, support and assistance for care, housing, appropriate welfare benefits, access to further education and suitable employment, and support to access care records.  I’m sure the Executive will strongly support this recommendation.


I’d like to thank all the survivors and care-experienced adults affected by abuse and the organisations supporting them who made very valuable contributions to our consultation on the proposed scheme earlier this year. Thanks to their responses, we have made a significant number of changes to the proposed scheme, including increasing the payment from £8,000 to £10,000, and expanding the categories of abuse.


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 advised that written questions had been received in relation to this item and responded as follows:


I have received a questions relating to how the support payment scheme will work in practice. In the report, we have outlined that there will be a range of support for those applying for payments under this scheme including an independent advocacy service. There will be further details about how the scheme works in practice in due course.


I have also received a question relating to civil compensation and criminal investigations. The Council is committed to supporting victims and survivors, provides a number of support services and will assist any police investigations or prosecutions in any appropriate way that it can. It is not, however, in a position to offer any form of scheme or process beyond the support payment scheme that it is currently working to set up. The Council does not have insurance ‘money’ as such, but rather insurance cover that may respond to civil compensation claims arising out of non-recent abuse. Whilst the Council will continue to support victims or survivors who bring such claims in any way that it can, and in this sense work with them, it will be the party against which such claims are brought and cannot, therefore, work jointly with them within the actual claim process.


I have received a number of questions not related to the support payment scheme but about support for survivors. We will continue to meet with Islington survivors and care-experienced adults so that the support that has been, or may need to be, in place for them including our general services across the council are trauma-informed. Their voices and lived experiences will be central to shaping support that empowers them to live their lives. 


We have also received questions in relation to people who will be outside of the scope of the proposed scheme. The dates are based on the management of those care homes, but we can look at this further and if anyone wants to contact me on this matter they should feel free to do so.


We have also been asked questions about how the payment scheme will be publicised and how it will have the furthest reach possible. We want to publicise this as widely as possible and we will work with relevant groups to ensure that happens. We will also set aside an appropriate budget to ensure that the scheme is publicised as widely as possible.


A council officer read out a statement submitted on behalf of the Islington Survivors Network. The full statement is appended to the end of this document.




a)   That the consultation undertaken on the proposed Support Payment Scheme (SPS) and the responses received from consultees (Appendix A of the report) be noted;


b)   That the final SPS (Appendix C1 of the report) and final Scheme Terms and Conditions (Appendix C2 of the report) be approved;


c)    That the arrangements for implementation of the SPS (paragraph 4.1 of the report) and the proposals for the appointment of the Independent Service Provider and members of the Independent Review Panel (paragraphs 4.2 and 4.3 of the report) be noted;


d)   That the Corporate Director of Resources, following consultation with the Leader of the Council, be authorised to make any further changes to the SPS and Scheme Terms and Conditions considered necessary as a result of the responses from the council’s insurers.


e)   That the Chief Executive and Corporate Director of Resources be authorised to take all necessary action to implement the approved SPS; and


f)     It be noted that update reports on the operation of the SPS will be submitted to future meetings of the Executive.



Reasons for decision   to provide financial support for eligible survivors / victims of non-recent abuse.

suffered when in the council’s children’s homes.

Other options considered – as detailed in the report, the scheme was subject to consultation

Conflicts of interest / dispensations granted – none



Supporting documents: