Lambeth Council has launched a redress scheme which promises to compensate anyone who was abused or feared being abused, as a child at a Lambeth Children’s Home and/or Shirley Oaks Primary School. The scheme will also compensate survivors who were abused at the Council’s foster homes, if they were placed in the homes directly from a Lambeth Children’s care home.
The scheme was opened on 2 January, 2018 and will run until 1st January, 2020.
Compensation has been divided into two types:
Harm’s Way Payment
A payment for Applicants who were 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.
You do not need to have suffered abuse to apply for a Harm’s Way Payment
In order to apply for a Harm’s Way payment, the scheme asks that you answer ‘yes’ to these two questions:
- Did you live in a Lambeth Children’s Home and fear that you would be physically and/or sexually abused;
- and/or were neglected and/or suffered cruelty? * Did your experience have a negative impact on your childhood?
Individual Redress Payment
This payment is for Applicants who suffered sexual abuse and/or physical abuse and/or psychological injury at a Lambeth Children’s Home and/or Shirley Oaks Primary School.
To make an application for an Individual Redress Payment you will need to show that you have suffered physical, psychiatric or sexual abuse.
To be able to apply for this payment, the scheme asks once again that applicants answer ‘yes’ to both of these questions:
- Did you live in or visit a Lambeth Children’s Home or attend Shirley Oaks Primary School as a child and suffer sexual abuse and/or physical abuse there?
- Was the abuse committed by a member of staff at the Lambeth Children’s Home and/or Shirley Oaks Primary School?
Here are some key points from the council’s web pages:
- There is no statute of limitations on the claim – you can apply even if the abuse happened a long time ago
- Applicants can apply for both types of compensation
- If you suffered abuse whilst visiting a Lambeth Children’s home, you may also be eligible for compensation
- You can ask for counselling as part of the process
- You can ask for specialist advice and help for things like housing, welfare benefits, education and employment
- An application for an Individual Redress Payment (but not for a Harm’s Way Payment), can also be made on behalf of someone who is deceased
- You can apply if you were abused by another child
- Individuals who lack mental capacity can also apply, but will need to be represented by a legal representative or a litigation friend
- You can make an application if you have a criminal record
- You can go through the application process by yourself, with friends/relatives/a support group, and you can also instruct a solicitor
- The council’s solicitors are Kennedys LLP
- The council will cover fixed legal costs if a Harm’s Way Payment is made, and reasonable costs and expenses if an Individual Redress Payment is made
- The council won’t ask you to undergo a medical assessment to receive a Harm’s Way Payment, but there may be instances where an assessment may be required for an Individual Redress Payment
- If you are not happy with the award that’s made, you can appeal to their Independent Appeal Panel, which is made up of three people, one of whom will be legally qualified. The council does not explain what they mean by an Independent Panel, or how they select individuals to be on the panel. The panel also has the power to reduce awarded payments.
- You can ask for a written apology, as well as receiving any compensation you are awarded
- You can request to meet with a senior representative of the Council
- You don’t have to go through the council’s redress scheme – you can issue a claim through the courts
- The information you share in your application will be used for audit and statistical analysis as well as form processing purposes
Applying for Compensation
The council ask that you fill out their application form. You can access a copy in the following ways:
- Calling the council on 020 7926 6980
- Download a copy of the Redress Scheme application form
- Writing to the council at Lambeth Redress Scheme, PO Box 747, WINCHESTER, SO23 5DP
- Visiting the council’s offices or Libraries
The more information you can offer, the easier it will be to process the claim. The council suggest adding as much detail as you can in the form, including the dates you were at the care home or foster home, and names of alleged perpetrators, as examples.
The council also offers a list of solicitors you may wish to contact:
- Association of Child Abuse Lawyers – childabuselawyers.com – Telephone 020 839 04701 (10am to 1pm and 2pm to 4pm Tuesday and Thursday only);
- The Law Society – lawsociety.org.uk – Telephone 020 7320 5650 (Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm);
- Local Law Centre lawcentres.org.uk
- Citizens Advice Bureau – citizensadvice.org.uk
We recommend asking people who have been through similar proceedings who they have hired and getting their feedback on their experiences. The Public Access Directory also offers listings of barristers who take on legal aid work.
These payments are graded to a maximum of £10,000 based on the length of time victims lived at a Lambeth Children’s Home. The breakdown of awards is as follows:-
- More than 6 months – £10,000;
- 3-6 months – £5,000;
- More than 1 week and up to 3 months – £2,500;
- Less than 1 week – £1,000.
If you were a resident in a Specialist Unit as a child, you will receive a payment of £10,000 which is not dependent on how long you lived in the Unit. You will not need to provide written evidence to support your Application for a Harm’s Way Payment.
The council offers a list of independent medical experts for psychiatric assessments. The list is not provided on the site, but should you ask for it, we would advise researching the experts on the list to see whether or not they have worked extensively for the council, as experts representing the council’s interests.
Lambeth Council will cover reasonable medical expenses and the cost of any medical reports prepared for the application.
Applications should be submitted by 1 January 2020 at 5pm, at the latest.
You can send your Application Form to Lambeth Redress Team, PO Box No. 747, Winchester, SO23 5DP or email it to firstname.lastname@example.org
Very many thanks to Dana for alerting us to this scheme.