Islington Support Payment Scheme - applications open until 31 May, 2024. For more information and to apply see

Support Payment Scheme agrees payments to 270 survivors as deadline approaches

Islington Council is urging people affected by abuse in its children’s homes between 1966 and 1995 to apply for a £10,000 support payment before the scheme closes.

Since launching at the end of May 2022, Islington’s Support Payment Scheme has agreed payments to more than 95% of applicants, totalling £2.7 million. More applications are being processed – but many other survivors may still be weighing up whether to apply.

Islington Council’s leader Cllr Kaya Comer-Schwartz appealed to those survivors to seriously consider reaching out to make enquiries or apply before the scheme closes on 31 May this year.

Cllr Comer-Schwartz said: “We’re deeply sorry for the council’s past failure to protect vulnerable children in its children’s homes, which was the worst chapter in this council’s history.

“We welcome all applications from anyone who was placed by the council in one of its children’s homes between 1966 and 1995 and was affected by abuse. The Support Payment Scheme was set up for this purpose in recognition of the lifelong impact such traumatic experiences very often have. If you, or someone you know, was affected, please encourage them to contact our team of trained advisors.

“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 31 May.

“The scheme has been designed to be as simple and straightforward as possible, minimising the need to re-live past trauma or the risk of further trauma or harm. You do not need a case file to be successful, and every single application is treated equally and carefully assessed on its own merits by the independent service provider.

“We also encourage survivors to ask the team about accessing the range of other support on offer, or find out at

“Islington Council today is a very different organisation from in the past, and protecting children from harm is our top priority. We no longer manage any children’s homes.”

The Support Payment Scheme is part of the council’s wider support for survivors.  This includes trauma support and support to access care records, work and learning, housing and welfare advice, and community, health and wellbeing activities.

The scheme has been designed to offer support at every stage of the process. Trained case advisors will communicate with people throughout their application and are available to:  

  • Help survivors and others with questions about the scheme and how to apply 
  • Help applicants access emotional support and practical help (for example with finding records)
  • Ensure applicants are aware of their options under the scheme  

The scheme is not a compensation or redress scheme. It sits alongside the existing civil compensation route and does not replace it. It has no bearing on any civil compensation claims that survivors may bring, except that, to ensure fairness and compliance with constitutional requirements, a scheme payment would be offset against any later civil compensation claim payment, and any previous civil compensation claim payment would be offset against a scheme payment.  

The Islington Support Payment Scheme is open to applications until 31 May, 2024 

If you need help to make an application, or have questions about the scheme, call 020 7527 3254 or email  

For more information about support in Islington for survivors of non-recent child abuse, please see


Notes to editor

General information about the scheme

All survivors are welcome to apply to the scheme, including former and serving prisoners.

The estimated timescales for applications can be found on the Islington Support Payment website, at

Applicants don’t require their childhood care records to apply for the scheme, and payments have already been made to people who did not have their care record. But care-experienced people can apply for their care records if they would like to see them. To do this, applicants need to submit a 'subject access request' via Islington Council’s website. For most applications to the Support Payment Scheme, a care file has been located and made available. In several instances, a care file has not been located. In these cases, applicants are encouraged to contact the Support Payment team to discuss other ways to include information about a care placement in their application.

Independent Appeals Panel

Following public consultation on the Support Payment Scheme, the Independent Appeals Panel process was made as flexible as possible to best serve the range of needs and preferences among the survivor community.

An application will automatically be passed to the Independent Appeals Panel if the independent service provider (DAC Beachcroft) has not been able to accept it. The application remains under consideration at this point, as no final decision has been made. The panel will review the application and DAC Beachcroft’s reasoning. The panel’s decision is final. As the panel is independent, the council has no influence or control over the decisions it makes.

Applicants do not need to submit an appeal if their initial application is not successful – the process is automatic and applicants are informed if their application is being referred to the Independent Appeals Panel.

Anyone whose application is referred to the Independent Appeals Panel can choose to attend their panel meeting (in-person or by video link) and/or submit further material to support their application. But they are not under any obligation to do any of these things, nor take any further action if they do not wish to – it is entirely voluntary. They can also request further time to submit written representations if they wish.

Applicants who choose to attend their panel hearing can bring someone with them to support them if they wish. The landing page of the SPS website highlights that support is available for applicants throughout the process (which includes appeals), either through the council, council-commissioned providers, or independent organisations including Islington Survivors Network.

The council externally advertised and shortlisted potential Independent Appeals Panel members and chairs. The recruitment process was not open to Islington Council employees. The panel chairs and members all have relevant backgrounds and experience, including:

  • Having been in care themselves or being children of care-experienced adults;
  • In social work, including adult mental health, children’s social care, or care management for adult drug and alcohol misuse;
  • In law, including family, child protection and adult social care law, and tribunals;
  • Having been members of other panels for financial awards related to historic child abuse claims, elected members’ conduct, central government and health appeals, school exclusion appeals and admission reviews, fostering, complaints and disciplinary procedures, and regulatory bodies;
  • As volunteers on panels making fostering decisions, or in school governance, food banks, and support during IICSA (the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse)

Update: Last week, 10 people whose applications were automatically referred to the Independent Appeals Panel were provided with further details about their individual appeal hearings.


Background to the scheme

In March 2021, a report to the council’s Executive presented options to consider for a financial scheme for survivors. In October 2021, the Executive approved the creation of a Support Payment Scheme. Background information about the scheme, including the public consultation and resident impact assessment, was also published.

The focus of the scheme is determining if the applicant is a survivor of abuse who meets the criteria of the scheme, rather than an analysis of the intimate details of the abuse. This way, it avoids the need for survivors to ‘re-live’ the trauma, undergo expert medical examinations or provide lengthy statements. The SPS facilitates support payments through a non-adversarial process, rather than presenting 'obstacles to be overcome'. It does not require nor adopt any standard of proof. It requires only that there be credible information and/or material of an applicant’s eligibility. Where an application is not initially successful, the SPS has an automatic review process to the Independent Appeal Panel, and reasons will be given where an application is not accepted.

To help inform the scheme, at the end of 2019, an actuary was appointed to provide an estimate of the total number of individuals who lived in one of Islington’s children’s homes at any point in the 30-year period 1966 to 1995. They were not asked to estimate the number of residents who suffered abuse.

The council does not have a complete list of children’s home records for the period in question, so the actuary based their estimation on a sample of the council’s family files. They estimated that between 1,700 and 2,400 individuals were resident in Islington’s children’s homes at some point during the period, and were still alive, with a best estimate of 2,000. This study gave the council a picture of the maximum direct cost of the scheme if every surviving resident made a successful application.

Contact information

If you are a member of the public with a general question about the council please view the contact information on our website or call 020 7527 2000.