The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IISCA) finally reported at the end of last month (July 2021), and the conclusions and findings made deeply disturbing reading. A systematic pattern of abuse, failures, and corruption at all levels left thousands of vulnerable children at risk of abuse in care homes run by Lambeth Council. These children have been left with a legacy of mental scars, emotional trauma, and lives that have been devastated by psychological, physical, and sexual abuse from the very people charged with protecting them.
At the end of July, the report dropped its bombshell findings, upholding the council’s role in causing the suffering of thousands of survivors in its care system over decades, finally, there was recognition and acknowledgement. Now, the work really starts.
What is Lambeth Council’s role in this story?
In 2017, Lambeth Council, which was responsible for the running of several care homes including the notorious Shirley Oaks Care Home, accepted that the survivors were psychologically, physically and/or sexually abused during their time in Lambeth Council’s care.
It was Lambeth Council’s responsibility to deliver care (both residential and non-residential) to vulnerable children, providing them with safe accommodation in care homes such as Shirley Oaks. They failed to do this, and for years, the Shirley Oaks Survivor’s Association fought tirelessly to expose the conditions at Shirley Oaks and other care homes run by Lambeth Council.
The Individual Redress Payment scheme
In 2018, in recognition of the impact their time under Lambeth Council’s care had had on these young people, an Individual Redress Payment scheme was set up. Since its initiation, the scheme has seen over 1,700 applications for compensation, demonstrating just how widespread the abuse was. However, estimates are that this number represents just the tip of the iceberg.
As of January 2021, more than 1,400 payments had been made, totalling nearly £47million. As the scheme remains open until January 2022, it’s expected that this total will climb considerably, especially as the IISCA report has delivered a damning overview of Lambeth Council’s role in the affair.
The numbers so far make bleak reading. While £47million in compensation has already been paid out to around 70% of the current applications, the final tally is expected to hit up to £125million, including over £19million in expenses, legal costs, and administrative fees. The current figure includes interim payments as well as payments to those who suffered the worst levels of abuse and whose claims exceed the scheme limit of £125,000.
This isn’t a ‘money-grabbing exercise, though. This is justifiable recompense for a lost childhood for thousands of survivors who endured sustained sexual, mental and physical abuse. Indications are that there are still hundreds of survivors out there whose experiences have not yet been disclosed.
How to make a claim
To date, Verisona Law has recovered over £7.5million in Individual Redress Payments, and apologies for 136 survivors of Lambeth Council’s care homes. Across the region, other solicitors acting on behalf of groups of survivors have also not only secured compensation payments, but something that’s far more important than money – an apology and an acknowledgement of the failings inherent in the system at Lambeth Council.
It is now hoped that with the advent of the IICSA report’s findings, more will come forward so that the impact this dark time has had on their lives can be compensated properly.
To make a claim, contact one of our team and let us help you get the ball rolling. All information will be treated in the strictest confidence, and our specially trained team will ensure that you, as a survivor, do not have to endure any further trauma. We will also be able to help you with access to counselling services and free, independent specialist support available via Oxleas NHS Trust.
Time is limited to make a claim against Lambeth Council. If you’re a survivor, we can help. Contact us now.
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