Strengthening Support For Redress Applicants

Dept of Social Services

The Albanese Labor Government is increasing support for survivors of institutional child sexual abuse by investing $33.3 million in new and expanded services for National Redress Scheme applicants.

The funding includes $26.1 million over four years for a new targeted support service that will assist survivors to submit complete applications to the National Redress Scheme.

The Government will be investing $7.2 million towards boosting free legal services and support available for survivors, which includes assistance in understanding and applying for redress.

Minister for Social Services Amanda Rishworth said it is vital that redress applicants have continued access to services that will support them throughout the application process.

“Applying for redress can add to the trauma survivors have already endured and we want to ensure they have access to the practical and emotional support they need, from legal advice on their options through to assistance with completing their applications,” Minister Rishworth said.

“Through this package, we are not only expanding access to supports but also making it more likely applications are complete, which can cut down on processing times and result in quicker outcomes for applicants.

“This package complements and expands on the existing specialised and trauma-informed supports provided for survivors through Redress Support Services across the country.”

Under the measures, applicants who have not provided all the necessary information within their redress application will be referred to a specialised support service who will assist them to obtain and submit the information they need for their application to be processed.

Expanding outreach is a key part of this investment. A further $2.16 million this financial year will be targeted to support applicants in gaol and for dedicated and culturally safe support services, particularly for regional and remote applicants.

Additional funding will also be provided to knowmore Legal Services, which provides survivors of institutional child sexual abuse with access to free, confidential legal services and support, including assistance with applying for redress.

Chief executive of knowmore Jackie Mead welcomed the funding and continued commitment.

“The support of the government sends a strong message to survivors that there is a continued belief in the apology and the specialist wraparound services that were promised,” Ms Mead said.

“Funding for knowmore Legal Service means survivors can access free, nonjudgemental professional services.

“Continued funding means there will be someone survivors can trust to walk alongside them as they talk about some of the most difficult things that have happened in their lives.”

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