National Redress Scheme update 2020

The National Redress Scheme will be assessed against a set of performance measures covering three priority areas: survivor experience, the health of the Scheme and equity of access.

The Governance Board, made up of Commonwealth, state and territory ministers with responsibility for the Scheme, will make the first report on the measures public in October 2020 with further reports to follow every six months.

The measures will focus on application timeliness, whether the Scheme is delivering on its overarching intent, encouraging and maintaining institutional participation and Scheme support services.

Minister for Families and Social Services Anne Ruston said this agreement demonstrated a collective commitment to the Scheme’s transparency.

It follows the latest declarations of institutions to join the National Redress Scheme, which includes nine named in the Royal Commission into Institutional Child Sexual Abuse.

“The Government is working hard to make sure that every institution with a history of working with young people joins the Scheme to ensure all survivors who come forward have access to the redress they absolutely deserve,” Minister Ruston said.

“We are making progress with 85 institutions joining the Scheme in the first three months of this year compared with 20 institutions over the same period last year.”

As a result of the latest declarations another 76 applications can be processed bringing the number of applications remaining on hold to about 500 as at 3 April 2020.

To date the Commonwealth, all state and territory governments and 185 non-government institutions are participating which covers more than 49,000 sites, such as churches, schools, homes, charities and community groups across Australia.

The Board has also agreed that institutions which were either named in the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse or in applications to the Scheme which were yet to join must provide a clear written statement setting out their intention to participate by no later than 30 June 2020.

These institutions will be expected to complete the work necessary to join the Scheme as soon as possible but no later than 31 December 2020.

“I will be writing to these institutions to warn them that failure to join the Scheme will have significant consequences including being publicly named as having refused to fulfil their moral obligation to survivors,” Minister Ruston said.

As at 3 April 2020, the Scheme has received a total of 6605 applications, 1587 payments have been made totalling more than $128.4 million and 325 further redress offers are awaiting an applicant’s decision.

Since 1 January about 700 payments have been made to survivors compared with 95 payments between 1 January and 31 March in 2019.

“We will continue to improve the Scheme for survivors who we know have been waiting far too long for redress,” Minister Ruston said.

Minister Ruston commended the South Australian Government for agreeing to be a Funder of Last Resort for Emergency Foster Care Incorporated and Kurbingai Hostel and the Tasmanian Government for Glenara Children’s Home (formerly the Northern Tasmania Home for Boys).

For details of institutions which have joined the Scheme go to nationalredress.gov.au

The latest Ministers’ Redress Scheme Governance Board Communique is available at dss.gov.au/about-the-department/news

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