Media Release by The Hon Paul Fletcher MP

Government to vary National Redress Scheme application form to respond to survivor concerns

The Morrison Government will fine-tune the application form for redress for institutional child sexual abuse to respond to concerns expressed by some survivors.

A modified application form will give survivors a choice about whether their impact statement is shared with the institution from which they are seeking redress.

Under the National Redress Scheme delivered by the Coalition Government, eligible survivors are offered access to counselling, a redress payment and the option of a direct personal response from the institution responsible.

“Some survivors have raised concerns about sharing impact statements with institutions – we are listening to those survivors and are responding,” said Minister for Families and Social Services, Paul Fletcher.

“Survivors and institutions alike have indicated that the issue of impact information is important.

“Some institutions say impact statements need to be provided to satisfy the requirements of their insurers, in other cases the information is needed for internal investigations, facilitate cultural and organisational change, or delivery of a Direct Personal Response, where required.

“On the other hand, some survivors are concerned that sharing an impact statement with an institution causes trauma and is deeply personal – and we acknowledge that.”

The Morrison Government will immediately commence consultations with states, territories, institutions and survivor groups with a view to obtaining their formal agreement to this optional additional process as quickly as possible.

“We will talk to relevant parties as a matter of urgency to modify the form in a way that achieves the outcomes for survivors that the Redress Scheme was designed to deliver.”

The Scheme was established in response to the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse (the Royal Commission) in its 2015 Redress and Civil Litigation report.

The Commonwealth Government has worked closely with states and territories, non-government institutions (including the churches and charities) and the Independent Advisory Council on Redress, to help design and implement the Scheme in line with many of the recommendations of the Royal Commission.

“Redress Support Services are available to help people understand the scheme and complete an application. Free and confidential support is available to provide practical and emotional support, legal advice and financial counselling is also available.”

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