Survivors of child abuse in Islington to get £10,000

Islington Town Hall

Islington Town Hall - Credit: Emma Bartholomew

Survivors of a historic child abuse scandal in Islington children’s homes are set to receive a £10,000 payment each.

The £16million fund is due to be agreed at the council’s executive meeting this week (October 14).

Individual payments have increased by a fifth after the council consulted survivors of emotional, physical, and sexual abuse by a council employee, a visitor introduced to a care home by the manager or a member of staff, or a volunteer, which took place in Islington-run children’s homes between 1966 to 1995.

The money will come from council reserves and people will initially have two years to come forward.

It is estimated that between 1,700 and 2,400 children lived in Islington children’s homes during the 30-year period, and 2,000 could still be alive.

Thirty-two survivors responded to the consultation.

The scheme is likely to be launched next spring and will be run independently of the council.

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According to the council: “The support payment scheme... has been designed to enable eligible applicants to receive a payment more quickly than having to go through the trauma of the lengthy civil compensation claims process.”

Some people were concerned about plans to offset any civil compensation payment against this scheme’s payment, but it will not affect any civil claims survivors may bring.

The council said: “Whilst a scheme payment and a compensation payment are different, they are both coming from or on behalf of the council and the offset allows a fair distribution of a finite resource.”

There were 13 reports into complaints about children’s care in the years leading up to 1995 before the independent White report concluded that each of these looked at individual problems.

It said what happened was “a disastrous chapter in Islington’s history”, adding: “Each of these issues has been dealt with as a ‘straw in the wind’. No-one looked for the haystack, which was undoubtedly blowing.”

The report concluded that “Islington did not initiate the type of investigation they should have”.

Allegations include claims that some children in care were working as prostitutes at children’s homes, some were gang-raped and knifed and some children were introduced to drugs. Allegations were made about the abuse of 25 children.