Survivors of historical child abuse in residential care settings could get up to £80,000 in compensation under a proposed new law.
The Scottish Government said the Redress for Survivors (Historical Child Abuse in Care) (Scotland) Bill will seek to provide “tangible recognition” of the harm caused to those who were abused as children before December 1, 2004.
The Bill will set up a new independent body, Redress Scotland, to assess applications for financial redress.
Survivors will be able to apply for a fixed rate payment of £10,000 or an individually assessed payment, which will involve a more detailed examination of their experience.
The individually assessed redress payment levels are set at £20,000, £40,000 or £80,000.
The Bill seeks to establish a scheme that will be non-adversarial and sensitive to the needs of survivors.
It will offer a faster alternative to the civil court process and access to elements of non-financial remuneration including therapeutic support.
In some circumstances, next of kin of deceased survivors will be able to apply for the redress payment of £10,000.
Financial contributions are being sought by the Scottish Government from those involved in the care of children at the time they were abused.
Deputy first minister John Swinney said: “For decades, many children were failed by the institutions and people entrusted to look after them.
“Financial redress is an important part of doing what we can to address these failings.
“The Redress for Survivors Bill will acknowledge and provide tangible recognition of harm as a result of historical child abuse in various residential care settings in Scotland.”
The Bill will provide elements of “accountability, justice and financial redress” for those who wish to access it.
Swinney added: “The Bill seeks to put in place a scheme which treats survivors with dignity and respect and which faces up to the past with compassion.
“Survivors of historical abuse in care have campaigned with dedication and perseverance for access to justice, improved accountability, and redress. They deserve to be listened to, heard and believed.
“This Bill is a tribute to their courage, determination and perseverance to ensure others never have to experience what they did.”
David Whelan, spokesperson for Former Boys and Girls Abused in Quarriers (FBGA), said the group welcomed the proposed Bill and urged all MSPs to support it.
He added: “The harm and damage inflicted on children in care who are now adults by those who had a duty of care on children is unquantifiable.
“This harm and damage has been lifelong and has had a profound impact on the lives of those who were abused in care with severe life-long consequences as recognised by the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry.
“This redress scheme will certainly acknowledge this harm and damage provided it is a fair and reasonable redress scheme.
“It will go some way to support those abused in care to help rebuild their lives and find some comfort in their remaining years.”