'Worst chapter in our history': Help available to children abused in Islington children's homes

A stock image of Cllr Kaya Comer-Schwartz. Picture: Polly Hancock

Cllr Kaya Comer-Schwartz. - Credit: Archant

The leader of Islington Council has apologised for the authority’s past failure to protect vulnerable children in its children’s homes. 

Councillor Kaya Comer-Schwartz called the incidents “the worst chapter in this council’s history”. This week she announced the Islington Support Payment Scheme, for people who experienced abuse while placed by the council in its children’s homes. 

People affected by abuse while placed by the council in Islington’s children’s homes between 1966 and 1995 can apply now for a support payment of £10,000.

Cllr Comer-Schwartz said: “We’re deeply sorry for the council’s past failure to protect vulnerable children in its children’s homes, which was the worst chapter in this council’s history. 

“The council already offers a wide range of help to those affected by abuse, including trauma support, assistance with accessing records and advice on work, education, housing and welfare. I am glad we can now offer this support payment also. 

“I’d like to thank the very many people, especially those directly affected by abuse and groups who support them, who have contacted us with questions and feedback throughout the development of the scheme, and who continue to help shape it. 

“Islington Council today is a very different organisation from in the past, and protecting children from harm is our top priority.” 

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Payments will be made through a process that is as straightforward and quick to access as possible, and that tries to minimise the need to re-live past trauma or the risk of further trauma or harm. 

The scheme is part of the council’s wider support available for survivors.  This includes trauma support and support to access care records, work and learning, housing and welfare advice, and community, health and wellbeing activities.

The Islington Support Payment Scheme is open to applications until May 2024.

For more information see www.islingtonsupportpayment.co.uk

If you need help to make an application, or have questions about the Support Payment Scheme, call 020 7527 3254 or email supportpayment@islington.gov.uk