Abuse payout fundamental: McClellan

Institutions and the government need to chip in to provide money to compensate thousands abused as children in orphanages, schools and child care organisations, the chairman of a national inquiry says.

Peter McClellan, who chairs the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, said on Monday that some institutions where children were abused had no money or no longer existed.

Justice McClellan says the community has to look to government and institutions to come together so all abuse survivors would have access to effective redress.

Speaking at the launch of Blue Knot day to raise awareness of abuse survivors, he said the commission would publish a paper in January 2015 with proposals on compensation.

It will publish final proposals in mid-2015.

Justice McClellan identified "ensuring justice for victims through the provision of redress by institutions" as a fundamental element of an effective response to abuse survivors.

"Our research and consultation in relation to redress is now well advanced and we anticipate publishing a paper in January, which will invite public responses to this complex issue," he said.

He said one of three elements in a response "is a lump sum payment, which marks the abuse and recognises the failure of the institution to keep the person safe as a child".

He said because some institutions had ceased to exist and others had no money, some abuse survivors have no access to compensation.

Justice McClellan said this fell short of the commission's brief of ensuring justice for all victims.

"The inevitable consequence is that the community must look both to government and the institutions with the necessary resources to come together to provide a response which provides appropriate redress for all," he said.

Redress has proved one of the most contentious issues throughout the royal commission, with some institutions pleading poverty and others, such as the Catholic and Anglican churches, pushing for a government-run scheme to which they would contribute.

Survivor groups such as Care Leavers Australia Network want an interim scheme immediately as some of its members are very old.

The Australian Lawyers Alliance has argued the government should not take charge of the scheme as some homes were government run and there was a vested interest to keep payments low.

The alliance wants an independent panel to run the scheme.

Justice McClellan said it was fundamentally important abuse survivors received a meaningful apology and had access to counselling or psychiatric care.

"The answer can only be found in a secure source of funds. By some means, funding must be found which ensures that professionals are available to keep people alive and otherwise provide them with the capacity to function effectively," he said.

Justice McClellan also spoke about need for reform to the criminal justice system as it related to the prosecution of those who sexually abused children.