Institutional child sex abuse survivors should not have to wait for redress

Queensland’s Minister for Child Safety, Youth and Women Di Farmer has again called on responsible non-government organisations to sign up to the National Redress Scheme so that victims and survivors aren’t left waiting to have their claims assessed.

Ms Farmer said non-participation by responsible organisations would compound the trauma experienced by many people who have experienced institutional child sexual abuse, by leaving them waiting for a response to their applications.

“Back in July, I wrote to a number of organisations funded through my departments and asked them to reply to me by December 1 to tell me what steps they were taking to join the Scheme,” she said.

“The Queensland Government has opted in to the National Redress Scheme, and it’s our expectation that any organisation we partner with will also take responsibility to right the wrongs of the past and opt in.”

Ms Farmer said anyone who had experienced institutional child sexual abuse can apply for redress now, but if the responsible organisation hasn’t signed up, they are left waiting and wondering.

“The Scheme currently has hundreds of applications on hold because responsible institutions have yet to opt-in.

“This is causing significant pain and trauma to people who have already gone through enough, and waited far too long.

“There really is no acceptable excuse for delay. People who have experienced institutional child sexual abuse have waited long enough.”

Ms Farmer said she expected that any services funded by the Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women would opt in if they were likely to receive a claim.

“I am currently considering all options to make sure that organisations who receive funding from my departments are participating in the Scheme.”

Ms Farmer said at the Ministers’ Redress Scheme Governance Board meeting held in Adelaide today, Ministers agreed more needs to be done to speed up the processing of applications for redress payments.

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