Sexually abused in foster care compensation – How Much Can I Claim?
Foster care exists to provide secure accommodation and care for minors whilst they are unable to stay with their natural parents. In most cases, good matches are made and fostered children are welcomed into a home where they are provided all that they need to get through what may be a difficult time in their young lives. However, in some cases, this has not happened, and through no fault of the child, they have suffered abuse while in foster care. If this has happened to you, you may be entitled to make an abuse compensation claim for any physical or mental injuries you have suffered as a result of that abuse. Here, we offer a guide to making a claim, along with helpful information you need to know before you begin.
Select a Section
- A Guide to claiming against the foster care system for sexual abuse
- What is abuse while in foster care?
- What to do if you are a victim of abuse while in the foster system
- How to begin a claim against the foster system
- What can be claimed for if you are a victim of abuse while in foster care?
- Frequently asked questions
- The most common types of foster care abuse
- The Tanner Case – An example of foster care abuse
- How much compensation will I get for a foster care abuse claim?
- No win No Fee Abuse Claims
- Why choose us as your claims service for your abuse claim?
- Call us for free advice and to make a claim
Whether via a voluntary basis or through a Court Order, some children may be placed in a foster care home with foster parents if their living situation is deemed to be causing them harm in some way. Whilst many foster care placements are successful, some cause a child more issues that previously, especially if they are subject to abuse while in foster care. Whether the abuse is physical, sexual or emotional, this can have a damaging effect on a child that extends well past the time they are in care, and if this has happened to you, you may not already be aware that you can make complaints against foster carers, and pursue a compensation claim. Here, we take you through what a claim for foster care abuse compensation involves, what it covers and what you need to begin a claim.
Whilst foster care is supposed to provide a stable environment for a child whose previous living arrangements could not do, occasionally a child is placed in an environment which is equally as, if not more damaging than their previous home. Foster care abuse is a very serious situation for a child and can lead to long-term detrimental effects on a child that can last well into adulthood.
Foster care abuse can cover a number of different types of abuse, as there are many types of action, or inaction, that could damage a child in some way. It could be neglect; a lack of attention, care and provision of love, or it could be physical abuse or emotional abuse. If you’re wondering can I claim compensation for being sexually assaulted in foster care, the answer is also yes. Each of these types of abuse are equally as seriously as each other, and each can damage a child, mentally and/or physically.
If you, or anyone you know has been a victim of abuse whilst in foster care, then it is essential to realise that you are not the only victim. When it comes to abuse in foster care statistics, in 2014, it was revealed that as many as one in one hundred children in care are abused each year in Britain, according to a study by the NSPCC and York University.
Whilst a large proportion of your case will involve you own personal evidence, there are other steps you can take to help build a strong case. We will obviously be there to ensure we provide legal assistance, but it would also be helpful to your case if you were to have some evidence of what has happened to you. Photographs of any injuries you have suffered, as well as contact details for anyone who may have witnessed any abuse would be useful. As well as this, it is important to keep any proof of expenses incurred as a direct result of foster care abuse, such as lost income, or perhaps counselling sessions that you have required.
In order to pursue a foster care abuse compensation claim, you simply need to call us. We have experience in helping people just like you, and will handle your case with the sensitivity it deserves, putting you first every step of the way. We aim to make the process as pain-free as possible, and pride ourselves on our exceptional standards of customer care.
The process will begin with a session that is free of charge. We call this a consultancy session. Here, we will establish the facts surrounding your case. From these facts, we will ascertain how strong your case is likely to be, and will explain this to you, along with talking you through the next steps, keeping you fully informed of what needs to happen throughout the process. You won’t be asked for any funds upfront, as we work on No Win No Fee for foster care abuse claims, which means you won’t have to pay out of pocket for any legal fees.
You may be required to attend a local medical centre for a full report on your condition, mental and/or physical, so that we can have an expert’s report, which should be utilised to determine what compensation you should receive.
The things you can claim for after suffering some form of foster care abuse are as follows:
Loss of earnings – You can claim this if your future earnings have been affected, or if you are unable to work due to the effects of the abuse
General Damages – This type of award covers compensation for any suffering or pain you may have experienced as a result of the abuse, whether this is emotionally or physically. Our emotional abuse solicitors have vast experience in the trauma that can be caused by foster care abuse.
Special Damages – Costs that have been incurred as part of your claim are covered here. This includes things like travel costs and medical expenses
How will I pay for my claim? If you want to make a compensation claim for abuse you have suffered while in foster care, then it is important to know that with us, you won’t need to pay any money unless your claim is successful. We operate on a No Win No Fee basis, so it will not cost you any money upfront to begin your claim.
I don’t know where my foster care parents are living now – Can I still make a claim? It is not always possible to keep track of where your foster parents may have moved to, but we may still be able to take action and build a case against whoever placed you in the foster care home.
Will the police need to be involved? It is essential to try and make sure that foster care abuse is stamped out as much as is possible. An investigation by the police may have already taken place in your case, but if it has not, we would advise you to contact the police and report the incident/s, which may result in a criminal case and/or investigation.
Will I have to face my foster care abuse perpetrator in court? We know this is a pressing question, as the idea of facing your abuser will likely be off-putting to you. However, depending on who the defendant is in your case, whether the local authority or private foster care company, your actual abuser may not be in court at all. If they are, however, we can arrange for your evidence to be given over linked video, or from behind a screen to make things easier on you.
I wasn’t believed then, why will anyone believe me now? We know only too well how hard it can be to speak out after abuse. We believe you and will work hard to ensure that your case is heard, and we help gain compensation for victims of abuse and closure after their terrible experience.
The most common types of foster care abuse are neglect, domestic abuse, sexual abuse, and physical and emotional abuse. However, there are other types of abuse that have also been found to have occurred in foster care. These include:
- Detrimental sexual behaviour
- Child trafficking
- FGM (Female genital mutilation)
- Sexual exploitation of a child
It is important to realise that your foster case abuse case is not the only one, and you are not the only victim. An example of one case that was widely reported in the media was the case against Jeffrey and Brenda Tanner, that resulted in the couple being jailed for their shocking abuse of two children that had been placed in their care.
The boy and girl, 12 and 13 respectively, were subject to both physical and mental abuse during more than two years’ stay with the Tanners, and Cambridgeshire Social Services were widely criticised for their staff’s inability to pick up on the signs of this abuse. They were also criticised for allowing the children to be placed in the Tanners’ care despite Mr Tanner’s previous convictions for assault causing bodily harm, and the fact that the Tanners had refused formal foster care training.
Often, this is a pressing question that those who have suffered abuse while in foster care ask, and whilst we can’t promise an exact amount, as every claim is different, the table below shows a guide amount for different types of injury, both physical and mental. You can use this to gain a rough idea of what may be awarded to you with a successful claim, but if you cannot find your injuries here or would like to clarify certain points, then simply call us, and we will explain further.
|Compensation Reason||Possible compensation amount||Explanation|
|Severe Damage (Psychiatric)||£41,675 - £88,000||Noticeable issues with the victim’s ability to cope with life and work, including relationships with family and friends as well as the wider public. Sexual and Physical foster care abuse claims tend to result in significant psychiatric or psychological damage.|
|Moderately severe damage (Psychiatric)||£14,500 - £41,675||Akin to the above, prognosis tends to be slightly more optimistic.|
|Moderate damage (Psychiatric)||£4,450 - £14,500||Some of the problems in the severe category may be prevalent, but prognosis for recovery will likely be good, and noticeable improvement will likely be present at the time of the trial.|
|Less severe damage (Psychiatric)||£1,170 - £4,450||The level of compensation is calculated based around how daily activities and sleep and daily activities were negatively impacted, as well as the extent of the period of disability.|
|Anguish (Mental)||£3,550||Fear of dying, and end of life expectation.|
|Post-traumatic stress disorder (severe)||£45,500 - £76,500||This tends to be prevalent in cases that leave permanent effects. These stop the victim from being able to work or function properly.|
|Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) (moderately severe)||£17,600 - £45,000||This is similar to severe, but prognosis is usually better. The victim will likely have a significant disability at least for the foreseeable future, though.|
|PTSD (Moderate severity)||£6,225 - £17,600||The long term effects should not be severely disabling, the victim will have received to a certain effect.|
|PTSD (Less severe)||£3,000 - £6,225||Minor symptoms only will persist. Full recovery within the space of two years.|
|Loss of earnings (anticipated)||£10,000 - £400,000||The amount awarded will be based on what the victim’s future prospects would have been if the abuse had not occurred. It is calculated taking into account the current pay scale, and the future prospects. The higher the potential earning potential without abuse, the higher the maximum payout.|
|Suffering and Pain||£1,000 - £200,000||Calculated based on the level of suffering and pain the victim has experienced.|
Whilst many people not experienced in dealing with legal claims for compensation may expect to be charged by their solicitors by the hour, one of the reasons many people prefer to use our service over another is that the solicitors work on a No Win No Fee basis. This ensures that even those who would not normally be able to afford legal fees are not held back from making a claim. No Win No Fee means that you will not be expected to pay for legal fees unless your case is successful. If, for some reason, your claim is not upheld, you will not be left with a bill for legal fees that you cannot afford. In fact, you will not have to pay us at all.
This is why you can be confident that we will not take on your case just to make money. If, for some reason, we do not believe your case will result in an award for compensation, we will tell you honestly. We have no reason to mislead you as to how strong your case is; we simply want to ensure you receive compensation you deserve without causing you more stress than you are already under.
We know that there are plenty of other firms that might promise you they will deal with your claim in the best possible way. However, not all of these will suit your needs. As a firm that is experienced in foster care abuse claims, we know only too well how difficult it can be to speak out about your abuse, let alone recover for it, so we promise to take as much stress as possible out of the process so that you can concentrate fully on recovering from your ordeal, whilst we work hard to ensure that you are awarded the maximum abuse compensation claim amount possible.
Any company can promise you that they will take your case seriously, but we can prove we have done so time and time again. Our strong customer focus and years of experience in pursuing historical abuse compensation has enabled us to secure pay outs for thousands of personal injury cases over the years, and over these years we will have dealt with claims just like yours. On top of all this, you’ll be able to be comforted by the fact that we work on a No Win No Fee basis, so you won’t be expected to dole out large amounts of money in order to entrust us with your claim.
If you are interested in making a claim for compensation for abuse you have suffered while in the foster care system, then why not call our friendly, understanding and professional advisors, who have experience of listening to foster care abuse stories. They can talk you through the process further and answer any other questions you may have about compensation for abuse in foster care. Simply dial 0800 073 8804 to be connected to one of our team, who will handle your call with the utmost in confidentiality, discretion and understanding. If you feel that it is time to proceed with the process of making a claim, you will be matched with a No Win No Fee highly-experienced solicitor who is based in house. Matching you to a solicitor who is best placed to help you with the complexities of your case will give you the best chance of receiving a historic abuse claims compensation award that amounts to the maximum possible.
The Child Welfare Information Gateway provides information about the definition of Child Abuse in its many forms. Whilst this is a US based site, it also provides a wealth of information that will help you see that what has happened to you is unlawful in other countries, as well as the UK.
The NSPCC provides information about what the law says about protecting ‘Looked after’ children, and explains the work that the charity carries out to help them.
Citizens Advice Bureau have provided a guide to specifically explain what to do if you are, were or know a child who may have suffered abuse in foster care
Childline is a charity that work to protect children from all walks of life. They provide a helpline to call if you, or someone you know needs to speak to someone in confidence.
The NSPCC has written a guide showing what some of the signs of historical abuse cases are, and explains why this may differ from signs shown at the time of abuse. You can report child neglect anonymously online in the UK.
Citizens Information provides more information on how to support someone who has been the victim of child abuse, and how to report it in Ireland. It also provides a good definition of the types of abuse a child might suffer.
The Government provides information on how to report a sexual assault, whether for historical abuse claims, or recent assaults.
The NHS reveal why it’s essential to get help after sexual assault, and what you need to do after you have been a victim of this crime.
We have produced a guide here to show you how sexual abuse claims can be processed, whether as part of a foster care claim or as a separate case.