The CrowdJustice campaign has been launched to cover the legal costs of a potential group action on behalf of survivors of childhood abuse who claim they were targeted whilst in the care of London Borough of Islington.
Social worker, Dr Liz Davies, first reported the extent of abuse across Islington Council’s children’s’ homes in the 1990s, which led to a number of public inquiries.
Two years ago, she formed Islington Survivors Network to campaign for justice and redress for Islington’s former care leavers.
The Islington Survivors Network has already helped 120 survivors who have come forward and has heard from several former members of staff who have provided accounts of their time working within the children’s homes.
The abuse team at Leigh Day has assisted Islington Survivors Network by taking evidence from several of those it represents. In September 2017 the leader of Islington Council apologised to members of the Islington Survivors Network and admitted culpability for the abuse on behalf of the Council. In light of these admissions, Alison Millar from Leigh Day and Sam Stein QC from Nexus Chambers’ assisted Islington Survivors Network to put forward a proposal for a redress scheme to Islington Council, which remains under consideration.
Lawyers have urged Islington Council to establish a redress scheme similar in nature to that which was recently set up by Lambeth Council for former residents of Shirley Oaks children’s homes.
Islington Survivors Network is now seeking support for a fresh legal review on the potential for a group action on behalf of former Islington children’s home residents against Islington Council, in the event that the proposed redress scheme is not agreed.
This review will require evidence from many of the survivors that have already come forward, as well as former staff members and interested parties who can provide evidence on the management practices prevalent at the times.
Liz Davies said: “Islington Survivors Network has been hearing from more and more former residents of Islington children’s homes, and the scale of the past network of abuse across the borough’s homes is shocking. “Survivors have waited long enough for justice – some since the 1960s and 1970s – and the Islington Survivors Network is doing all that it can to get the redress that they deserve.”
Alison Millar, Head of the abuse team at Leigh day, said: “The survivors’ accounts that we have heard are devastating. We hope that the proposal for a redress scheme is agreed by Islington Council, but if not, we shall look to bring a large group action on behalf of the former care leavers.”