Monday, 19 February 2018

 Legal support services to help survivors of institutional child sexual abuse access redress

Media release

The Hon Christian Porter MP

The Hon Dan Tehan MP
Minister for Social Services

Survivors of institutional child sexual abuse will have access to legal support services to help them access redress under the Commonwealth Redress Scheme.

The Turnbull Government is providing funding of $37.9 million over three years for the services from 1 July this year, when the Commonwealth Redress Scheme begins accepting applications for redress from survivors.

This funding is in addition to $1.2 million provided in 2017-18 for legal support services and $52.1 million announced on 15 December 2017 for Redress Support Services.

These funds are focused on helping survivors through the process of accessing redress.

The funding will be provided to 'knowmore', the legal advice service that supported the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, to ensure survivors of abuse seeking to access redress are provided with quality, trauma informed advice on their legal options. Knowmore will help survivors by providing information and advice about the options available to them, including claims under the redress scheme, access to compensation through other schemes or common law rights and claims. Advice will also be provided on key steps in the redress process.

The Turnbull Government is committed to ensuring that survivors of child sexual abuse within institutions are properly supported through the redress process. While the redress scheme is non-adversarial, ensuring survivors understand their rights and legal options is important in supporting survivors to make informed decisions about their interaction with the scheme. Redress Support Services, which are administered by the Department of Social Services, will work cooperatively with knowmore to ensure that the survivors are able to access the broad range of assistance they require while engaging with the Commonwealth Redress Scheme.

Having developed significant expertise in assisting survivors throughout the Royal Commission process, knowmore is well placed to provide this service and to ensure continuity of service for many existing clients.