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8.5 National Redress Scheme for survivors of institutional child sexual abuse

The National Redress Scheme was established in response to the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. The scheme acknowledges people who experienced institutional child sexual abuse in Australia and aims to help them move forward with their lives in the way that is best for them. The scheme will run for 10 years to 30 June 2028.

The scheme provides three components of redress:

  • access to counselling and psychological services
  • a direct personal response (an apology) from the institution(s) responsible for the abuse
  • a redress payment.

From 1 July 2018 the department began accepting and processing applications from survivors of institutional child sexual abuse for which the Commonwealth, other governments and non‑government institutions are responsible.

In 2018–19:

  • The scheme received over 4,200 applications. Of these, 23.9 per cent were submitted online
  • 346 redress offers were made
  • 239 payments were made
  • The average redress payment amount was over $82,600
  • The National Redress Scheme phone service answered more than 32,000 calls. The average length of time a person waited for their call to be answered was four seconds.

The department continues to engage with survivor support groups to review and identify improvements. During 2018–19, in response to feedback, the department consulted with over 40 survivor support and advocacy groups to redesign the Application for Redress form. As part of this process, the department undertook multiple consultative forums. The enhancements to the form were in direct response to the feedback the department received, and focus on ensuring that the form is as trauma‑informed as possible. The revision also reflects recent policy changes concerning the sharing of some information with the responsible institution(s). The revised application form was released on 15 April 2019.

The department’s service delivery approach adheres to trauma‑informed principles to reduce the risk of further harming or traumatising people. To support this approach, all staff undertake significant training on trauma‑informed services, and the department provides staff with additional psychological and wellbeing support.