Community Services Minister Robyn McSweeney today announced the opening of applications for the Country High School Hostels Ex Gratia Scheme.
The scheme has been established to provide payments to eligible applicants who were abused while boarding at a hostel operating under the auspices of the Country High School Hostels Authority between 1960 and 2006 (inclusive).
People who were subjected to abuse as a boarder of a country high school hostel are eligible to apply for ex gratia payments of up to $45,000.
The scheme is in response to the St Andrew’s Hostel Katanning - How the System and Society Failed our Children special inquiry report and was originally announced in September by Premier Colin Barnett.
Mrs McSweeney said the State Government’s swift action on setting up the special inquiry, accepting all recommendations resulting from the inquiry and implementing an ex gratia scheme showed the State Government was serious about addressing child abuse.
“No child should have to endure abuse of any kind, particularly from adults who were tasked with the responsibility of caring for them,” she said.
The Government has committed to implementing all five of the recommendations of the special inquiry report, conducted by former Supreme Court Justice the Honourable Peter Blaxell.
Applications will be open for a period of six months, closing on May 31, 2013. The Department for Communities will manage and facilitate the scheme.
A hotline established during the St Andrew’s Hostel inquiry to provide access to WA Police and counselling services through Crisis Care will remain available.
Up to $45,000 ex gratia payments available
Scheme opens November 30, 2012 and closes 5pm May 31, 2013
Counselling hotline to remain available (1800 227 792)
List attached of hostels covered by scheme
Minister’s office - 6552 6500