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Scottish Redress Scheme for survivors of historical child abuse

8 December, 2021

Please note some readers may find the content of this post distressing

Save the Children has decided to participate in a scheme launched by the Scottish Government on December 8, 2021 for survivors of historic child abuse in care in Scotland.

Survivors of historic child abuse have long campaigned for such a scheme and have been involved in developing it. Save the Children is involved because between 1958 and 1995, we managed Harmeny School in Balerno, Edinburgh, providing specialist services to children with complex social, emotional and behavioural needs. We believe it is possible that abuse occurred during that time.

We want to offer our unreserved, heartfelt apologies to anyone who suffered harm as a child whilst in our care. Any and all claims of abuse are distressing. Nothing can undo those wrongs but we hope that by signing up to the scheme and working with the Scottish Government, we can encourage any survivors of abuse to come forward and access redress.

Our decision to participate was based on a set of guiding principles:

  • We have a responsibility to promote the welfare of all children and to keep them safe. We also have a duty to respond where necessary. This duty includes taking action where a concern relates to incidents of abuse which occurred some time ago. There is no time limit on our accountability to children.
  • We are engaging with the Scottish Government in a spirit of collective national effort to recognise and apologise to survivors.
  • Alongside the Scottish Government and Redress Scotland, we will be open, open, transparent and caring in our engagement with anyone who has been under our care and makes a claim for compensation.

Save the Children is committed to playing our part in the efforts to address historic child abuse in Scotland. Survivors want, and deserve, to be listened to, heard and believed, and to be treated with dignity and compassion.

A copy of the letter that we have sent to the Deputy First Minister of Scotland to confirm and explain our decision to participate is avaliable here. 

Read our 2022 Redress Annual Report here.

Information on how to apply and start the application process can be found here:

Additional signposting and support available here:

For more information, please contact us at InfoScotland@savethechildren.org.uk

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