If you are a victim of Church of England based abuse you may be eligible to claim support from their Interim Support Scheme (ISS).
The information below gives a brief history of when and why the ISS was set up and some advice on how to go about making an application.
In October 2020 IICSA produced it’s report into the Church of England which included making recommendations and arrangements to provide redress to all kinds of survivors of all types of church-related abuse.
Recommendation 7 of this report reads:
- The Church of England and the Church in Wales should each introduce a Church wide policy on the funding and provision of support to victims and survivors of child sexual abuse concerning clergy, Church officers or those with some connection to the Church.
- The policy should clearly set out the circumstances in which different types of support, including counselling, should be offered.
- It should make clear that support should always be offered as quickly as possible, taking into account the needs of the victim over time.
- The policy should take account of the views of victims and survivors. It should be mandatory for the policy to be implemented across all dioceses.
Prior to the roll out of the Redress scheme, the Church of England’s Interim Support Scheme was set up in October 2021 as a means to provide urgent assistance to Survivors.
Many Survivors will not be familiar with the Terms of Reference and Guidelines created by the Church of England, additionally, some may feel the benefit of support through the process by appointing an advocate.
Details on the Redress Scheme Scheme, along with updates on its progress can be found on the Church of England Redress Scheme page. At the time of writing, the scheme is being developed over the course of 2022 with the aim of introducing it in 2023.
**July 2022 Update**
In July 2022 the Lead Bishop told the General Synod that the scheme may be ready to launch in 2024 or 2025, with the project team “looking into whether it is possible to launch a pilot phase by the end of 2023”.
Interim Support Scheme (ISS)
Designed to give Church abuse Survivors support whilst the Redress Scheme is being set up, the ISS is up and running.
Making an application can be traumatic and triggering in terms of having to detail an overview of the abuse and the life difficulties that have followed it. It is highly recommended to seek an advocate to walk with you through the whole process. The ISS supports this and recognises that the advocate will be paid for their time.
Further details of the scheme can be found on the Church of England ISS page, including the Guidelines and Terms of Reference. Links to these specific articles are best referenced from the CofE page as we have seen the Church adjust its criteria and guidelines to suit its pocket, as time has gone by. It is also possible to contact the Scheme by email with any questions you might have.
October 2022 Church of England ISS page update as follows:
The Terms of Reference of the Interim Support Scheme were reviewed at the September Archbishops’ Council meeting. Changes have been agreed to extend financial support beyond the current twelve-month limit, as we have done with therapeutic support. We are currently in the process of rewriting the ToR to reflect this change, and they will be updated on the website in due course.
24th October 2022 – the ISS released an “Updated ISS Privacy Notice” for all applicants.