D day is looming – 3 months to go until the close of the Lambeth Children’s Home Redress Scheme

By Amy Clowrey, Associate Solicitor, Child Abuse Claims

The Lambeth Children’s Home Redress Scheme (“the scheme”) closes for new applications at 5pm on the 1st of January 2020. Whilst this does not affect those who have already made an application to the scheme, it does affect those who have not yet made an application.

What is the scheme?

The scheme, which went live on 02 January 2018, deals with applications for compensation payments to people who, as children, were abused or feared abuse at a Lambeth Children’s Home, foster placement and/or Shirley Oaks Primary School up until closure of the homes in around the 1980’s and 1990’s. It is estimated that around 7,000 children passed through Lambeth’s children’s homes between the 1950’s and 1980’s alone. The scheme is intended to be much easier on survivors in terms of timescales and that there is no need to relay abuse details at court. Switalskis represent over 350 survivors of historical child abuse in Lambeth.

Lambeth council have accepted that historically, many children were psychologically, racially, physically and sexually abused in their care and agreed to compensate survivors through a redress scheme. This followed the work of Shirley Oaks Survivors Association (SOSA) and in particular the publication of a report called “Looking for a Place to Call Home” by SOSA.

Types of payment

There are two types of payment available:-

Harm’s Way Payment – This is a payment made for Applicants who were a resident at a Lambeth Children’s Home and feared that they would be physically and/or sexually abused, and/or who were neglected and/or suffered cruelty whilst resident at a Lambeth Children’s Home where specified criteria is met.

Applicants can receive a payment of up to £10,000.00 depending on the length of time they spent in Lambeth children’s homes and/or Shirley Oaks Primary School.

 

(i)                  More than 6 months                      = £10,000.00

(ii)                Between 3 and 6 months              = £5,000.00

(iii)               Between 1 week and 3 months  = £2,500.00

(iv)               Less than 1 week                             = £1,000.00

 

Applicants who were in a specialist unit run by Lambeth as a child would receive £10,000.00 regardless of the amount of time they spent there.

In order to obtain the Harm’s Way Payment you/ your solicitor would need to make an application to the scheme providing details of the abuse you suffered or feared you would suffer. Lambeth will then need to verify that you were in the children’s home/ school. Once this is dealt with Lambeth will then agree to pay you a Harm’s Way Payment. This usually takes between 1-4 months.

Individual Redress Payment – This is a payment made for Applicants who suffered sexual abuse and/or physical abuse and/or psychological injury at a Lambeth Children’s Home, foster placement and/or Shirley Oaks Primary School where specified criteria is met.

Under this part of the scheme you/ your solicitor will need to arrange for you to be examined by a Consultant Psychiatrist. This expert is jointly instructed by you and Lambeth to examine you and prepare a medical report outlining details of what happened to you and how this has affected you. The expert, more often than not, also recommends a form of treatment or therapy. Your settlement under the scheme will be based on this medical report. This sounds more scary than it is – being seen by a Consultant Psychiatrist is a great opportunity to understand how the abuse has affected you and, potentially, for you to access the right medical treatment which in turn may help to reduce your symptoms. Although we understand that abuse can never be forgotten, we would hope that any recommended treatment will help survivors move forward with their lives.  This part of the scheme usually takes between 9-18 months.

The below children’s homes are included in the scheme:

  1. Shirley Oaks
  2. Almond House Hostel
  3. Angell Road
  4. Calais Street
  5. Chestnut Road/ Robson Road
  6. Chevington House
  7. Cumberlow Lodge
  8. Garrads Road
  9. Gresham Place
  10. Highland Road
  11. Ingleton House
  12. Ivy House/ Warham Road
  13. Knowle Close
  14. Lancester Avenue
  15. Lancaster Road
  16. Leigham Court Road
  17. Lorn Road
  18. Monkton Street
  19. Mount Villas
  20. Nottingham Road
  21. Rathmell Drive
  22. Rectory Grove/ Elaine Claire House
  23. Samuel House
  24. South Vale
  25. Southwood
  26. Southwood Discharge Hostel
  27. St Saviours
  28. Stephany House
  29. Stockwell Park
  30. The Elms
  31. Thornwick Nursery
  32. Tivoli Road
  33. Woodvale

You may also be eligible for an Individual Redress Payment in the event that you were sent to a foster placement (where you suffered abuse) directly from a Lambeth children’s home.

Applications can also be made for people who would have been eligible for the scheme but are deceased. For more information about this please contact Switalskis solicitors.

The Scheme closes for new applications at 5pm on 01 January 2020 and it is highly unlikely that this date will be extended so we are trying to ensure that all potential applicants are made aware of the cut-off date.

In addition to the redress payment, should survivors wish, Lambeth have agreed to offer 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 and we are able to advise you on making an application to the scheme and alternative remedies.

If you were subjected to abuse whilst in the care of Lambeth and would like advice, please contact Amy Clowrey or Paul Durkin or call a member of the team on 0800 138 4700.