Restoration and Redress

Option 1: The Personal Injuries Complaints Committee

About the Personal Injuries Complaints Committee

The Personal Injuries Complaints Committee (PICC or “the Committee”) was established by The Salvation Army to provide financial redress to survivors of child abuse within The Salvation Army.

The PICC’s role is to consider individual survivor’s experiences, the impact on their lives and how The Salvation Army can support survivors with healing.

The Committee is chaired by a senior leader of The Salvation Army. Other members are officers and employees of The Salvation Army, and an independent clinical psychologist. Privacy principles mean all meetings remain highly confidential and matters are not discussed outside of the formal setting.

You are not required to meet with the Committee. The Centre for Restoration’s senior case manager is available to speak with survivors to prepare an impact statement for presentation to the Committee.

Please note, our case managers do not have any financial authority. They will always work with the survivor to ensure their case report is prepared in the best possible manner for the Committee’s consideration. You may also choose to submit a report from a treating psychologist or counsellor.

Advantages of seeking redress through the Personal Injuries Complaints Committee

If a survivor is willing to engage with The Salvation Army, seeking redress through the Personal Injuries Complaints Committee (PICC) has the following advantages:

  • Redress can be considered for people who are ineligible for the National Redress Scheme, including:
  • People who have been physically abused (and not also sexually abused)
  • People who are not Australian citizens
  • People who are not permanent residents in Australia
  • People who have a criminal record
  • To ensure fairness and equity for all survivors of abuse, PICC can commit to the same financial outcome as the National Redress Scheme.
  • Meetings are held on a monthly basis, and the survivor is verbally advised of the outcome within two working days.
  • From the date of the PICC assessment, the process can be finalised and any redress payment can be made within two months.

Further information about PICC process:

  • You will not be required to meet with this Committee.
  • If financial redress is offered and the survivor verbally accepts this, the Centre for Restoration will send a letter to the survivor to formalise the offer. There is no time limit on accepting this offer.
  • If the PICC offer has been accepted, the survivor will be sent a letter explaining the next steps in the process, along with a copy of the Deed of Release and associated forms for completion.
  • It is a requirement that every survivor obtain independent legal advice prior to signing the Deed of Release. The Salvation Army will cover the cost of legal advice for the survivor, to ensure they fully understand the effect of signing the Deed of Release.
  • Payment of redress funds are made to the survivor’s nominated bank account once the fully signed Deed of Release is received by the Centre for Restoration.
  • If a survivor is unhappy with the outcome of the PICC, they have the right to request a further review by the Committee, usually by providing new or additional information that the Committee can use to reconsider their initial offer. Following this further review, the survivor is advised of a final offer, and the need to seek legal advice if they are not satisfied with the offer of redress.

A survivor has the right to change their mind at any point in the process prior to receiving a payment from The Salvation Army. If a survivor no longer wishes to settle their claim, they simply indicate that decision to the Centre for Restoration.

Option 2: The Commonwealth Government National Redress Scheme

The Salvation Army is committed to supporting and providing redress for all people who were abused as children while in our care, in a way that is fair, consistent and compassionate. We understand that survivors who suffered abuse within The Salvation Army may not want to engage with us in any way. With this in mind, The Salvation Army was the first major faith-based organisation to join the National Redress Scheme (NRS) when it was formed in 2018.

The Salvation Army remains committed to participating in the NRS, alongside its commitment to also offering its own internal redress scheme, to ensure that all survivors are treated with fairness and equity, including those who are not eligible to apply to the NRS. Every Salvation Army entity within Australia is included within the NRS, without exception.

The NRS considers applications made by survivors of institutional child sexual abuse. Applications can be made any time before 30 June 2027.

The NRS:

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

Payments range from $5000 through to a maximum of $150,000. If an applicant accepts an offer of redress through the NRS, they must sign a document releasing the relevant institution from further claims.

Direct Personal Response

A Direct Personal Response can be a very helpful experience in bringing closure from the pain of the past and allowing healing to occur. A direct personal response includes:

  • An opportunity for a survivor to have their story of abuse heard
  • An acknowledgement of the impact of the abuse on the person
  • An apology or a statement of acknowledgement or regret
  • An assurance that the institution has taken steps, or will take steps, to prevent abuse occurring again

Please note that under the guidelines of the NRS, an institution must wait until the survivor contacts them before they can provide a Direct Personal Response. If you would like a Direct Personal Response from The Salvation Army, you can contact us by:

Phone: (02) 9466 3063

We would be very willing to arrange this by way of a Letter of Apology, and/or in meeting with you in person, at a time and location of your choice. Or, you may prefer your contact person at the NRS arranges this with us on your behalf.

For more information about the National Redress Scheme, you can visit the National Redress website or call 1800 737 377.

Option 3: Legal engagement

Survivors of abuse may be entitled to claim compensation against responsible institutions by making a civil claim for damages, where the survivor has suffered from a personal injury (psychological or other harm) as a result of abuse suffered in connection with an institution.

Civil claims, however, may involve a costly, uncertain and lengthy process, often taking over 18 months to resolve. They are usually only pursued in circumstances where the survivor would achieve a more favourable financial outcome than under the National Redress Scheme or the institution’s internal redress scheme.

The Salvation Army is mindful of different ways in which lawyers charge their clients and wants survivors to only be charged what is fair and reasonable for any legal support they might seek.

To avoid being overcharged, please be aware of the following:

  • Clients have a right to have the basis of how their legal costs are calculated disclosed to them in advance of any work being done
  • Clients have a right to negotiate the terms of any cost agreement with their lawyers
  • Clients have a right to receive an itemised account setting out each aspect of the work that was done and the cost applicable to that item of work

It is not normal for lawyers to charge a percentage of the amount of redress a survivor might receive. If a lawyer proposes to do this, The Salvation Army encourages the survivor to speak with Knowmore, a free legal service for survivors of abuse, funded by the Commonwealth Government.

You can visit the Knowmore web page and find information on advice, assistance and independent referrals to lawyers who specialise in historical abuse matters.

The Head of the Centre for Restoration attends each settlement conference for survivors who have chosen to seek financial redress through legal engagement. This is in a pastoral capacity only, for the purpose of offering to meet with the survivor for an informal Restorative Justice Meeting. Many survivors take this opportunity to share their story and receive an in-person apology. They have found it to be of significant value in helping them to have closure and move forward.

The Salvation Army acknowledges the Traditional Owners of country throughout Australia and recognises their continuing connection to land, waters and community. We pay our respects to them and their cultures; and to elders both past and present. The Salvation Army is a child safe organisation that is committed to ensuring the wellbeing of children and young people, and protecting them from harm.

Hope where it's needed most