Through the Dilworth Redress Programme, those former students who have suffered serious abuse can make a voluntary, confidential registration, and then application, to the Dilworth Independent Redress Panel. The Dilworth Independent Redress Panel will then review all documentation provided by the applicant (who will be assisted by a Redress Facilitator), and may respond with an Offer of Financial redress. If you wish to consider more detail, a Settlement Agreement will be available for you to review.
Before this Settlement Agreement is signed, it is a requirement that applicants receive independent legal advice – which is paid for (within dollar limits) by the Dilworth Trust Board.
In offering Panel-determined Financial Redress, the standard of proof required, to determine whether abuse occurred, is ‘reasonable likelihood’. This is a lower standard of proof than the legal, civil standard of ‘balance of probabilities’. The Dilworth Redress Programme terms also state that “Survivors should be believed unless there is compelling evidence to the contrary.”
The Dilworth Redress Programme is independent of Dilworth School and the Dilworth Trust Board. Offers of Financial Redress are determined and made by the Dilworth Independent Redress Panel. (The Settlement Agreement – once applicants wish to take their Offers further – is then provided by the Dilworth Trust Board.)
The Dilworth Independent Redress Panel is made up of three independent, expert Panellists. The Dilworth Trust Board has no influence over their decisions or activities.
Redress aims to provide a remedy for past harm done, and aims to do it in a way that the applicant is supported. Typically, Redress might include a financial payment, and also other elements including: an apology, support, or therapeutic counselling; or other assistance.
From August 2019, some forms of redress had been available to former students of Dilworth and their families through the ‘Listening Service’ and Listening Service referral to fully funded therapy provided by independent clinical psychologists and other health professionals. Individual apologies had been also provided to former students by the Board Chair and the current Headmaster.
In early 2021, work on a financial redress programme began, in addition to the redress already described.
A comprehensive redress programme had not, hitherto, been designed in New Zealand. There was no example to use as a guide. Therefore, independent advisers to Dilworth Trust Board consulted offshore, especially with the Kooyoora Redress Programme (Victoria, Australia) and in the UK.
A first draft of the Dilworth Independent Redress Programme was drawn up after this consultation, and during this time (and after) the Dilworth Trust Board consulted with ‘survivor’ groups further about the form of the programme. Discussions between legal counsel for the Dilworth Trust Board and legal counsel for ‘survivor’ groups was extensive.
Following this, the Dilworth Trust Board established a broad, open feedback process about the proposed redress programme and also into a proposed ‘Independent Inquiry’ into what happened at the school.
A website was established, and widely advertised. It solicited responses from the Dilworth community and all former students, including those who had suffered abuse. The website was open for feedback between 15 March -13 April 2022 and was monitored and the feedback analysed by an independent analyst in the United Kingdom.
Feedback included an emphasis that any Dilworth Redress Programme must be independent. Therefore, the concept of the Dilworth Independent Redress Panel was confirmed and the draft Dilworth Redress Programme Terms were revised. Both of these reflect robust independent processes and a strong, highly experienced decision-making body (Panel) free from influence in decision-making, and authorised to make Offers of Redress through their own determinations.
Another significant theme of feedback was that financial settlements be fair and equitable (like for like) between applicants. This, too, was adopted in the Terms at 37 (g) (i) ‘Like cases should be treated alike’, the terms state, and also at 37 (g) (ii)‘The seriousness…..<…….> …..should be reflected in the levels of awards of financial redress such that the most serious instances should receive the highest levels of awards while the less serious instances should attract lower levels of awards.’
The Dilworth Independent Redress Panel was convened in mid 2022 comprising: former High Court Judge Dame Judith Potter DNZM CBE as Chair; Clinical Psychologist Professor Ian Lambie ONZM and governance expert Ms Rukumoana Schaafhausen MNZM. The Redress Programme was launched in September 2022.
Redress Facilitators are independent of the Dilworth Independent Redress Panel, the Dilworth Trust Board and School. They are neutral and not an advocate for Applicants. They are required to sign a statement as to independence and impartiality as a condition of their appointment.
The role of the Redress Facilitator is to help you prepare your application and to provide the Dilworth Independent Redress Panel with all the necessary information to consider it.
Redress Facilitators are skilled in the redress process and committed to working with you in an empathetic and supportive manner.
The Facilitators prepare the report that goes to the Dilworth Independent Redress Panel accompanying and forming part of the application. You will see this report and confirm its accuracy as a final step before it is delivered.
They will help you source and apply for any additional assistance that may be available from other organisations and support services as well.
The Facilitation team is enhanced by an additional Care and Support role, which is available to work in support of the well-being of the Applicants and their families.
The governing document that guides all redress Settlements is a comprehensive Terms. If you are considering applying for redress, it is a good idea to read it.
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