National Redress Scheme

Providing acknowledgment and support to people who have experienced institutional child sexual abuse.

The National Redress Scheme (the Scheme) was created in response to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

The Scheme:

  • Acknowledges that many children were sexually abused in Australian institutions
  • Holds institutions accountable for this abuse, and
  •  Helps people who have experienced institutional child sexual abuse gain access to counselling and psychological services, a direct personal response, and a monetary payment.

The Scheme started on 1 July 2018 and will run for 10 years.

The Scheme can provide:

  • A monetary payment (up to $150,000)
  •  Access to counselling and psychological care
  • A direct personal response (DPR) that provides a meaningful apology and acknowledgment from the responsible institution.

Applicants may accept one, two or all three components of the Scheme.

The Scheme is administered federally by the Department of Social Services (DSS) and the Department of Human Services (DHS). DSS is the National Redress Scheme Operator responsible for policy, recruitment and management of the Independent Decision Makers, reporting and invoicing. DHS is responsible for delivery of the Scheme, including processing and assessing applications for redress.

For more information on the Scheme, see the National Redress Scheme page on our Services website or contact the National Redress Scheme information line - Ph: 1800 737 377.

Delivery of the Scheme in Victoria

The Victorian Department of Justice and Community Safety (DJCS) is responsible for coordinating Victoria’s participation in the Scheme. 

The Victorian Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is responsible for implementation of the:

  • Counselling and psychological care service on behalf of Victorian Government institutions and non-government institutions
  • Direct Personal Response (DPR) program on behalf of Victorian Government institutions.

For more information on the Scheme in Victoria, see the National Redress Scheme page on our Services website.

Restore: Victorian Redress counselling service

Restore is the counselling service for people who have accepted an offer of counselling from the Scheme and lived in Victoria when they applied to the Scheme. Restore is made up of 18 specialist counselling organisations with 90 locations across Victoria. It is led by the South Eastern Centre Against Sexual Assault (CASA) and includes the CASA forum, Open Place, Care Leavers Australasia Network, drummond street services and Ngarra Jarra Noun (Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency). 

There are a range of counselling types accessible through Restore, including:

  • Individual
  • Family
  • Group
  • Cultural healing for Aboriginal people - e.g. on-Country day programs, camps, gatherings.

Restore can also connect people with other support services and deliver a range of other services, including advocacy and support with practical issues. Restore can also support people to continue existing therapeutic relationships.

For more information, see Restore - Victorian Redress Counselling Service website or call (free) 1800 RESTORE (1800 737 8673).

The Program Requirements for the National Redress Scheme Counselling Service in Victoria outlines the expectations and requirements of Victorian service providers who deliver counselling and psychological care under the Scheme.

Direct Personal Response (DPR) program

DHHS is responsible for delivering the DPR program on behalf of all Victorian Government institutions. 

A DPR from a responsible institution to a person can include one or more of the following:

  • An apology or a statement of acknowledgement or regret
  • An acknowledgement of the effect of the abuse on the person
  • An assurance as to the steps the institution has taken, or will take, to prevent abuse from occurring again
  • An opportunity for the person to meet with a senior official of the institution.

The Victorian Government’s DPR program has been developed according to the National Redress Scheme for Institutional Child Sexual Abuse Act 2018 and adheres to the National Redress Scheme for Institutional Child Sexual Abuse Direct Personal Response Framework 2018.

People who were abused in a Victorian Government institution and have accepted an offer of redress including a DPR may email a Direct Personal Response Liaison Officer at DHHS or phone 03 9096 5663.

Support services

Free and confidential redress support services are available to help people before, during and after they apply for redress. These services can provide practical and emotional support, legal advice, and financial counselling.

For more information, see the National Redress Scheme website.