Abuse victims have been urged to apply for £10,000 pay-outs before the cut-off date in less than two months.

Islington Council is offering “support payments” to people abused in its former children’s homes.

But applicants must put their papers in before 5pm on Friday, May 31.

In 2017, Islington Council finally admitted and apologised for decades of abuse of vulnerable children, which it called “the worst chapter in this council’s history”.

The admission followed a decades-long campaign by survivors, led by whistleblowing former Islington Council social worker Dr Liz Davies, who received her own special apology from the council.

The 'Support Payment Scheme' launched on May 31, 2022.

The council says the payments are not compensation and do not amount to an admission of liability.

Am I eligible?

The payment scheme is limited to those who were abused in 35 specific children’s homes.

They include certain homes in greater London, Essex and Hertfordshire, where children were placed by Islington Council.

The abuse must have been suffered between 1966 and 1995.

Those abused in foster care, or in the community whilst known to Islington’s social services, aren’t covered.

What counts as abuse?

Payments are for victims of sexual abuse, physical abuse, emotional abuse and neglect.

  • Sexual abuse includes abuse by other children in the homes and “non-contact” abuse like exposure to sexual behaviour.
  • Physical abuse includes the use of restraint techniques such as 'pindown', where children were wrestled to the ground and held there, unable to move.
  • Emotional abuse includes ridiculing children, exposing them to bullying behaviour, causing them to feel frightened and preventing normal social interaction.
  • Neglect includes under-feeding children, failing to provide sufficient clothing or access to medical treatment, and inadequate supervision.

Ham & High: The Gazette has reported for decades on the Islington Council abuse scandal. The council finally apologised in 2017 and launched the support payment scheme in 2022. It closes next monthThe Gazette has reported for decades on the Islington Council abuse scandal. The council finally apologised in 2017 and launched the support payment scheme in 2022. It closes next month (Image: Ken Mears / Islington Council / Newsquest)

Catch Up:

How do I prove I was abused?

Rules say applicants do not have to prove they were abused even to the civil standard of 51% certainty.

The scheme is supposed to be “straightforward and quick” and avoid making applicants “relive past trauma”.

It “requires only that there be credible information and/or material of an applicant’s eligibility".

A small number of applicants have been rejected on grounds of insufficient evidence either that they were in a children’s home or that they were abused while there.

But the overwhelming majority of applicants have been paid. Those turned down are automatically referred to an appeal panel.

Am I waiving my rights?

Applying to the 'Support Payment Scheme' does not waive a victim’s rights to sue the council.

Several people who have successfully applied have been referred to lawyers by Dr Davies’s Islington Survivors Network (ISN) for potential civil suits.

However, the £10,000 will be subtracted from any damages awarded by a court.

How do I apply?

To apply or find further information, including a list of the 35 children’s homes, visit www.islingtonsupportpayment.co.uk.

“We really do want all survivors to feel reassured that they can reach out and ask the team any questions they have beforehand, to feel that they will be listened to and treated sensitively – and to know that if they choose to apply, the scheme is open for them until May 31, 2024,” the council said.

ISN, which helps applicants access their records and file applications, can be reached at 0300 302 0930, or islingtonsn@gmail.com.