The Mother and Baby Institutions Payment Scheme, Action 20 in the Government's Action Plan for Survivors and Former Residents of Mother and Baby and County Home Institutions is one element of a package of support measures. The Scheme has been designed to provide a response to those who were resident in Mother and Baby and County Home Institutions. If a person was boarded out as a child and also spent time in a Mother and Baby or County Home Institution, they may be eligible for this Scheme in respect of the time spent in one of these institutions.
The proposals for the Mother and Baby Institutions Payment Scheme are designed to be non-adversarial and will not require applicants to bring forward evidence of abuse or harm suffered. The Scheme will consist of a general payment rising based on time spent in one of the institutions, so that those who suffered most from the harsh institutional conditions will receive the highest level of payment. Children were boarded out in a range of circumstances, in some instances from their own home when a family no longer had the means to care for them and from institutions other than a Mother and Baby or County Home Institutions. In addition, the abuses suffered were not experienced by all people who were boarded out as children and, so, could only be fully considered on a case by case basis. The payment approach in this Scheme does not cater for such individualised assessments.
The overall Government Action Plan for Survivors and Former Residents of Mother and Baby and County Home Institutions will provide support and assistance to those who were boarded out as children in the following ways:
- Access to birth and early life information as part of the Birth Information and Tracing Legislation which is being advanced.
- Inclusion in the memorialisation initiatives being developed which will afford an opportunity for people to tell their story.
- The provision of an ex-gratia payment to reimburse anyone who was boarded out and had to pay inheritance taxes for farms which they inherited from their foster parents.
Finally, I intend to make arrangements for the provision of access to dedicated counselling supports through Tusla to those who were boarded out as children.