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Questions and Answers

Scouts Australia and the National Redress Scheme

Why does Scouts Australia support the National Redress Scheme?

The National Redress Scheme will allow applicants (survivors) the opportunity to access a monetary payment, counselling and other support. This includes a possible direct personal response in the form of an apology, and an explanation of the measures Scouts Australia has taken to further strengthen their child protection policies and procedures.

We believe this is an easier and just way for applicants (survivors) to gain recognition for past harms, and that the support provided will assist them in the healing process.

Survivors have displayed incredible courage and commitment while appearing before the Royal Commission to share their stories.  They have played an important role in making Australia a safer place for children in the future.

We applaud the Federal Government for its leadership on this matter, and for the highly consultative manner in which the Scheme has been developed.

Will the National Redress Scheme make it easier for applicants (survivors) to access recognition and support compared to the court system?

The National Redress Scheme will provide applicants (survivors) the opportunity to access a monetary payment, counselling and other support which is designed to help them heal.

The Scheme is intended as a simpler and more streamlined alternative to the court system.

Recognising that revisiting the events of the past may be distressing for people, community-based support services will be available for people who apply for the Scheme.

The Scheme will also provide access to free specialist Legal Support Services and counselling services.

Did Scouts Australia have the opportunity to provide feedback on the National Redress Scheme?

Scouts Australia, and each Branch, have been consulted extensively in the development of the National Redress Scheme by both the Minister for Social Services and the Redress Taskforce.

 Scouts Australia also appeared before the Senate Inquiry for the National Redress Scheme, and provided a submission.

Prior to that, Scouts Australia appeared before the Royal Commission and took part in consultative meetings with the Commissioners.

Will Scouting for current members be impacted by Scouts Australia opting into the National Redress Scheme?

Scouts Australia has been consistently planning to set aside an appropriate amount for the financial component of Redress.

As a community organisation which relies on membership fees paid by families as a main source of its operational income, Scouts is committed to ensure that the sustainability of our organisation is maintained for modern Scouting and community activities.

Scouts Australia is confident that we have in place financial plans to support redress funding.

Does Scouts Australia think that the National Redress Scheme will provide a high enough monetary payment to recognise the experience of applicants (survivors)?

For some, no amount of money will ever be enough to heal the pain and suffering that they have endured. Scouts Australia is committed to ensuring that applicants (survivors) are heard, feel like they have been heard, and acknowledged.

We are committed to this and support the provision of therapeutic counselling along with other support, and a financial amount to those who apply to the Redress Scheme.

Will Scouts Australia be operating as a single entity in its dealings with the Scheme?

Scouts Australia is made up of nine separate legal entities. However, we recognise that the organisation is understood by many to operate as a single entity in the community.

Whilst the Scheme Operator, the Department of Social Services, will be dealing directly with the individual Branches, Scouts will align internal operations so that we function consistently across the organisation for the purposes of redress.

Will Scouts Australia be making a public apology to applicants (survivors)?

Scouts Australia released its public apology to survivors on Friday, the 5th of October 2018.  It can be viewed here.

Some applicants may also wish to have a direct personal response (apology) from Scouts Australia which is available through the National Redress Scheme.

What are Scouts Australia’s child protection arrangements like today?

Scouts Australia places child safety as its top priority and we have a zero tolerance of abuse of any kind.

All our Branches have rigorous policies and procedures in place to keep children safe at all times.  This is in addition to our National Child Protection Policy, which was developed in conjunction with Child Wise, a leading child protection authority.

All Adult Leaders must undertake working with children checks and undergo specific child protection training which must be updated every three years.

Any allegations of abuse are immediately reported to the Police.

How do applicants (survivors) access the Scheme?

The National Redress Scheme is operated by the Australian Government, so applications are made directly to the Scheme.  For more information call the National Redress Scheme on 1800 737 377 Monday to Friday 8am to 5pm local time (excluding public holidays) or visit www.nationalredress.gov.au.