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National Redress Scheme Update

Joining the Scheme shows strong organisational leadership and commitment to learning from the mistakes of the past, and ensures as many survivors of institutional child sexual abuse as possible will have access to redress.

National Redress Scheme - ACS Mutual participating Group

The National Redress Scheme has been created in response to recommendations by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, with the intent to provide support to people who experienced institutional child sexual abuse.

About The Scheme

The Scheme:

  • acknowledges that many children were sexually abused in Australian institutions
  • recognises the suffering they endured because of this abuse
  • holds institutions accountable for this abuse, and
  • helps people who have experienced institutional child sexual abuse gain access to counselling, a direct personal response, and a Redress payment

The Scheme started on 1 July 2018 and will run for 10 years. Opportunity to opt into Redress is fast coming to a close. 

An applicant is eligible for redress if there is a reasonable likelihood that the person was sexually abused:

  • when a child
  • within a participating state or territory
  • before 1 July 2018
  • there is one or more participating institutions who are responsible for the abuse

What is Redress?

Key Features

Reasonable likelihood

In relation to a person being eligible for redress, "reasonable likelihood" means the chance of the person being eligible is real, is not fanciful or remote and is more than merely plausible.

Responsible

In relation to whether a participating institution is deemed responsible for the abuse, the following factors

will be considered:

  • the institution was responsible for the day to day care or custody of the person when the abuse occurred
  • the institution was the legal guardian of the person when the abuse occurred
  • the institution was responsible for placing the person into the institution in which the abuse occurred
  • the abuser was an official of the institution when the abuse occurred
  • the abuse occurred:
  • on the premises of the institution
  • where the other activities of the institution took place
  • in connection with the activities of the institution

Should you join?

Individual circumstances should be taken into account when considering participation in the Scheme, however, there is strong government and community expectation that all institutions that cared for children or organised activities for children participate in a scheme that helps people who have experienced institutional child sexual abuse gain access to counselling, a direct personal response, and a redress payment.​


By choosing to participate in the Scheme your organisation is sending a message that you support a scheme that is trying to help survivors of institutional child sexual abuse, and that you support the position that organisations should stand up and take responsibility for circumstances that may have occurred in their history, and to try to make amends in some way.


The table below gives a few examples of benefits/risks to joining the Redress Scheme.

Benefits

Risks

National consistency in both process and outcomes

Claims resolved at a lower standard of proof than the court system

Financial loss limited to a maximum payment of $167,500 as opposed to a Civil Court action which is not capped and dependent on the ruling of the court at the time

Financial obligations in addition to insurance obligations
(levy payment plus excess amount for successful application)

Spared the administrative and reputational costs of establishing and operating your own scheme

Obligations to handle protected information

Claims mitigation (released from liability) If an applicant accepts an offer of redress through the Scheme, they are unable to also then make a claim via a Civil Court action

Reputation risks

Refer claims to the body for the next ten years

Future changes to the National Redress Scheme

Participation and support of a process that seeks to help the healing of trauma caused by institutional responses to child sexual abuse

Cell

Risk Factors

Does your organisation provide activities for children?

Historical Exposures

Are you aware of your organisation’s history of providing activities for children?

Insurance

What will you do in the event of a claim?

How do you join?

Institutions Onboarding by themselves:

  • Onboarding process with DSS (including MOU)
  • Provision of financial and other relevant information to DSS
  • Declaration by Minister
  • Institution responsible for payment of any invoices in regards to successful applications for redress. Average claim amount is currently $81,000 up to $167,500 each
  • Institution responsible for organising a Direct Personal Response and for all associated costs of providing one, should it be requested

Institutions Onboarding via ACS Mutual:

  • Onboarding process with ACSM
  • Payment of levy to participate to ACSM
  • ACSM review and provide all details to DSS
  • Declaration by Minister
  • ACSM pays invoice for any successful applications for redress on behalf of the institution (subject to retention amount)
  • ACSM will help to organise the Direct Personal Response and will cover all associated costs, including the engagement of a professional facilitator to mediate the process

Why join via ACS Mutual?

Why should you consider joining through ACS Mutual?

  • Participating in the National Redress Scheme via the ACS Mutual group creates a collective buying power that enables all organisations large and small the opportunity to be involved, without having to shoulder the financial burden of participating alone.
  • Admin of the onboarding process is completed by ACS Mutual, reducing the load on individual institutions
  • Lower level of contact with the Scheme by individual institutions, then ACS Mutual becomes the intermediary, contacting the institution only when necessary
  • Individual Institution does not need to provide financial information or proof of the ability to cover the cost of any redress amounts awarded by the Scheme
  • Cost to an institution is capped at the amount of the levy paid to ACS Mutual plus the retention amount applicable to the claim
  • ACS Mutual pay any costs (subject to retention amount) of claims made against the institution via the Scheme
  • ACS Mutual engage services of a professional facilitator should a Direct Personal Response be requested by a person accepting an offer of redress

Redress FAQ's

Following are responses to several frequently asked questions, however we urge you to engage with us should you have any concerns or require clarification on any matters related to the Scheme and the ACS Mutual response.


The National Redress Scheme provides acknowledgement and support to people who experienced institutional

child sexual abuse.


It was created in response to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse and provides people who have experienced child sexual abuse in an institution an alternative to seeking compensation through the courts.
The National Redress Scheme can provide three things:

  • access to couselling;
  • a payment; and
  • a direct personal response from the institution for people who want it.

Do I need to be an ACS Mutual member in order to join the Scheme via the ACS Mutual participating group? 

Put simply, Yes. The Mutual members have created, through their participation, the collective buying power to enable ACS Mutual to provide the protection for this risk.

What does "being an ACS Mutual member" mean? 

Being an ACS Mutual member means having your insurance and protection program via ACS Financial and ACS Mutual.

How will the ACS Mutual Participating Group protect our organisation?

The Participating Group will cover any costs incurred by your organisation as a result of a matter being dealt with through the Redress System.


This cover will continue for each year that a Member belongs to the ACS Mutual Scheme.


It is important to note that the Redress Scheme only relates to historical child abuse that occurred prior to 1st of July 2018.


Any matter that occurs after this date and any matter that results in the claimant seeking a Civil recourse via our Court system will be dealt with in the normal manner by your ACS Mutual General Public Liability Protection.

What will opting in to the Scheme cost us?

The cost to an individual church will vary based on historical experience, organisational size and activities and any known circumstances that may lead to a future claim.


You can find your levy amount once you click on the link to the information portal below.


Each year the scheme levy rates will be reviewed, and each year, Members have the right to continue in the Redress Scheme or Opt-out.


The Scheme is intended to run for 10 years from the 1st of July 2018.


ACSM, on behalf of a participating institution will be responsible for providing redress payments for abuse of a person if the abuse occurred in circumstances where the participating institution is primarily or equally responsible for the abuse as outlined in the Scheme legislation.


This payment would be subject to a member retention payment. (Please see the Disclosure statement for more detailed information regarding the retention payments).


Should the institution require financial assistance to meet the excess costs ACS Mutual will consider payment terms over 10 monthly instalments (nominal funding charges may apply).

What is a retention amount?

A retention amount is similar to what's usually known as an 'excess' or how much you contribute to each claim.  The reason it's called a 'retention amount' in this case is due to the fact that it's running through a Mutual and the legal terms for describing an 'excess' through a Mutual is known as a 'retention amount'.


Release from Civil Liability

Survivors receiving redress under the Scheme will be required to release the responsible institution, their associates and the officials of these institutions (other than the abuser) from all civil liability in relation to all instances of child sexual abuse, and related non-sexual abuse, of the survivor that is within the scope of the Scheme.


This will be a condition of accepting any components of redress under the Scheme.

Direct Personal Response?

Parties agree that survivors found eligible under the Scheme, and who have accepted an offer of redress (and thereby released relevant institutions from civil liability), should have the opportunity to receive a direct personal response from the participating institution if they choose it.




ACSM will work with you to adhere to the Direct Personal Response Framework.


ACSM will cover any costs associated with a Direct Personal Response such as obtaining a trained facilitator to mediate the process.

Privacy

Institutions agree to keep all information requested and provided to the Scheme in relation to a claim private and confidential and that this information will be stored appropriately.

How long does the Scheme operate for?

  1. The Scheme commenced on the 1st of July 2018 and will run for 10 years. The Scheme will only respond to matters that occurred prior to the 1st of July 2018.

    Every customer of ACSM has the commercial right to withdraw their membership and purchase protection elsewhere. If this occurs ACSM would need to inform the Redress Scheme of this entity’s withdrawal from the Scheme and therefore exercising its right to Opt-out of the Redress Scheme, at a given date.

  2. If a customer refuses to pay for the redress protection, then ACSM will notify the Redress Scheme to have this entity removed from redress protection. I.e. protection is predicated on payment of a levy.

How do we sign up?

The ACS Mutual Participating Group “Onboarding” process will be as prescribed by the rules of the Redress Scheme. In practice this is a process that involves a formal acknowledgement of your Church agreeing to be part of the Redress Scheme as an Associate of the ACS Mutual Participating Group. Further, it will require the identification of each entity in both its informal and legal name. For example, a church may be known as “The ABC Church of North Sydney” but its legal name could be “ABC Church Limited.”


This information is required to ensure three key things:

  1. A potential Claimant can identify the alleged institution as a participant in the Redress Scheme;

  2. Should the matter be proven to the satisfaction of the prescribed Redress process, then the legal release that is required, is executed in an enforceable manner to protect you, the institution, from any further liability in the matter.

  3. Should an apology be required the correct entity issues the apology. (Please note, ACS Mutual will guide you through the apology process should that be required by the Claimant).


As soon as we have a suitable number of ACS Mutual Members ready to opt-in, we will be submitting the details to The Redress Manager at DSS who will prepare a Ministerial proclamation, after which, your Institution’s name will be listed on the Redress website confirming your Institution is part of the National Redress Scheme.


This will continue on a monthly basis until all those who have chosen to opt-in are proclaimed under the Act. We will also be adding any new members through the same Onboarding process.

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