More than 400 victims of historic child abuse in care have received payouts from the Scottish Government.
In April 2019, the Advance Payment Scheme was launched, promising £10,000 to those who were abused in care before 2004 and aged over 68 years old – or with a terminal illness.
In the first year of the scheme, 417 payments have been made, equivalent to more than £4 million.
The initiative was put in place ahead of a statutory redress scheme, which is expected to pass the Scottish Parliament in March 2021.
The advance scheme was set up to ensure that older sufferers of abuse will be able to access the payments while younger victims will be able to access the financial redress in the wider scheme.
Deputy First Minister John Swinney said: “I am pleased that more than 400 people have received an advance payment.
“We continue to do everything possible to help survivors and their families apply to the scheme by ensuring a simple application process.
“I am particularly pleased by the positive feedback we have received on the process from survivors and survivors’ groups.
“While clearly nothing can take away the pain that individuals have suffered, the scheme, together with other actions we are taking, will go some way towards acknowledging the grievous harm inflicted on them when they were most vulnerable.”
A report published on the first year of the scheme showed 90% of those who applied were over 68 and the other 10% had been diagnosed with a terminal illness.
While two-thirds of those who applied for the scheme were still from Scotland, 13% of applicants had left the UK entirely – most of whom were living in Australia – and the other 20% were residing in other parts of the UK.
The scheme is part of a package of measures, including the ongoing Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry and the National Confidential Forum to offer redress to sufferers of child abuse.