By Amy Clowrey, Associate Solicitor, Child Abuse Claims
Switalskis Solicitors acts for over 350 people who were abused, as children, whilst in the care of the London Borough of Lambeth. So far we have secured well over £3 million in damages for our clients. All damages received go directly to survivors.
The scheme, which went live in 2018, will shortly close its doors to new applications. The scheme formally closes on 02 January 2020.
By way of background, in 2017 Lambeth council accepted that, historically, many children were emotionally, racially, physically and sexually abused in their care. They agreed to compensate survivors through a redress scheme. This followed on from the hard work of Shirley Oaks Survivors Association (SOSA) and in particular the publication of a report called “Looking for a Place Called Home” by SOSA.
All former residents of Lambeth children’s homes and Shirley Oaks Primary School prior to their closure in the 1980s and 1990s are eligible and the scheme includes a “Harm’s Way Payment” of up to £10,000. The Harms Way Payment aims to compensate former residents for the environment they were subjected to whilst in Lambeth children’s homes – payment does not depend upon whether or not a person was subjected to abuse whilst they were in the care of Lambeth council.
Children that were subjected to abuse in foster placements whilst under the care of Lambeth council are also eligible under the scheme.
If former residents were sexually, physically, racially and/or emotionally abused then such residents would also be entitled to further payment/redress under the “Individual Redress Payment”. Survivors may also be entitled to private psychotherapy which is hugely beneficial in assisting those who have suffered manage their symptoms, which can often be debilitating.
In addition to the redress payment, should survivors wish, Lambeth council have agreed to offering a written apology and a meeting with a senior member of the council. Other services such as counselling and signposting for advice on welfare, housing and education are also available.
Applications to the redress scheme should not be delayed as the last date for submitting applications is 2nd January 2020.
If you or any of your friends or family were in the care of Lambeth council and would like advice, please contact Amy Clowrey or Paul Durkin by email, or you can also contact us by phone on 0800 138 4700.