Compensation Claims For Foster Care Abuse Explained

Foster care abuse can have significant long-term effects on both the physical and psychological health of victims. Our guide provides an overview of who could be eligible to begin a claim following abuse in foster care and the different avenues through which you could direct your criminal injury claim. 

You will also find guidance on how compensation for the abuse of foster children is calculated following a successful criminal injury claim. 

The final section of this guide contains a brief examination of the No Win No Fee contract our panel of experienced sexual assault solicitors can offer their services under, and how you can benefit when making a claim for child abuse during your foster placement under these terms.

To get a no-cost, zero-obligation assessment of your eligibility to begin a claim or to ask any questions you may have regarding the claims process, you can reach our advisors 24/7 via these contact details:

  • Call us on the number given above.
  • Contact us through our website.
  • Click the chat box in the bottom left corner of your screen.
foster care abuse

Find Out How To Claim For Foster Care Abuse

Browse Our Guide

  1. How Can I Claim For Foster Care Abuse?
  2. How Long Do I Have To Claim For Child Abuse In Foster Care?
  3. What Compensation Can I Claim For Foster Care Abuse?
  4. Make A Claim For Foster Care Abuse Using A Specialised No Win No Fee Solicitor
  5. More Resources About Making A Physical Or Sexual Abuse Claim

How Can I Claim For Foster Care Abuse?

Foster care is a service, managed by local authorities, where vulnerable children who can no longer live with their birth families are placed in the home of an adult known as a foster carer. Foster care abuse is when a child has suffered physical abuse or emotional abuse from their foster family

There are several different avenues through which a criminal injury claim for foster care abuse could be made:

  • You could claim directly against the perpetrator, if they have been identified and have the means the pay compensation. This could include foster carers or foster parents.
  • You could claim against a vicariously liable third party, this may be an organisation that is responsible for your safety, if they failed in their legal obligation to protect you.

Can I Claim Through The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority?

If neither of the above avenues is possible, you could claim through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA). 

The CICA, an executive agency sponsored by the Ministry of Justice, was established to provide the victims of violent crimes, such as abuse survivors, a means of making a compensation claim. 

Through their administration of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme 2012, the CICA provides a means of claiming compensation for violent crimes. Sexual abuse is one such example of a violent crime the Scheme compensates for and is the focus of this guide.

The eligibility criteria to for making foster care abuse claims through the CICA are as follows:

  1. You were harmed in a violent crime that can be compensated for by the 2012 Scheme.
  2. The violent crime occurred in Great Britain.
  3. A report was filed with the police. 

It is important to note that claiming through the CICA for sexual abuse in a foster home is intended as an avenue of last resort. If you can make a claim through other means, you should do so.

Our advisors can provide further advice on the eligibility criteria to begin a CICA claim if you suffered abuse by your foster carer, or claiming via a different avenue. Talk to our dedicated team using the contact details given above.

criminal injury claim

How Long Do I Have To Claim For Child Abuse In Foster Care?

In order to start a criminal injury claim for foster care abuse, certain time limits must be adhered to. However, the time limits applicable will differ depending on which avenue you take to make your claim.

Time Limits For Claims Through The CICA

The Sexual Offences Act 2003 defines sexual assault as the non-consensual sexual touching of another. Per the NSPCC, historic abuse, also referred to as non-recent abuse, is where an adult was abused as a minor.

In most cases, foster care abuse claims need to be started within 2 years. If the person was under the age of 18 at the time of the incident, they have:

  • Until their 20th birthday, if the incident was reported to the police before they turned 18.
  • Within two years of the incident first being reported to the police, if it was reported on or after their 18th birthday. This may be applicable to cases of historical abuse.

To get further insight into the relevant time limit for your potential CICA claim, contact our advisors today. You can speak to a member of our team 24 hours a day using the contact information given below.

Time Limits For Claims Against Social Services

Generally, you would have three years to begin your criminal injury claim against a vicariously liable third party.

However, exceptions can be made in some circumstances, such as if the person was under the age of 18 when the incident occurred, or if the person lacks the mental capacity to begin their own claim.

For further guidance on how long you have to start legal proceedings for foster care abuse, please get in touch using the number above.

An advisor can assess your case and may be able to connect you with one of the expert sexual abuse solicitors from our panel. They can ensure your criminal injury compensation claim is brought forward within the relevant time limits applicable to your specific case. 

What Compensation Can I Claim For Foster Care Abuse?

The criminal injury compensation payout you receive following a successful claim will depend on who you made the claim against and where the claim was directed. For example, compensation amounts awarded after a successful CICA claim will differ from those awarded following a successful claim made against a vicariously liable party.

How Much Compensation For A Criminal Injury Claim Against An Organisation?

If you make a successful criminal injury claim against a vicariously liable third party, the payout you receive could comprise the following heads of loss:

  • General damages: Compensating for the physical and emotional effects of the criminal injury. Your medical records can help give an insight into the extent of the incident on your mental and physical health.
  • Special damages: Compensating for the monetary expenses incurred as a result of the criminal injury. This can include loss of earnings from time taken off work to deal with the emotional and/or physical impact of the incident. You’ll need to provide payslips to show this loss.

When calculating the value of general damages, reference can be made to the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) which contains guideline compensation brackets for different types of harm. You can find figures from this document in the table below. Please use them as a guide only. Also, please note that the first entry is not from the JCG.

Injury TypeCompensation BracketNotes
Sexual and/or physical abuse with other damagesUp to £500,000+Compensation for the physical and emotional effects of sexual and/or physical abuse with financial losses, such as lost income.
Sexual and/or Physical Abuse£45,000 to £120,000Severe - The person has suffered seruous abuse and/or a severe and prolonged psychiatric injury.
£20,570 to £45,000Moderate - The abuse is less serious but prolonged. There is a less severe psychological reaction.
£9,730 to £20,570Less severe - The abuse is a lower level of seriousness and short-lived. The psychological effects are mild or are resolved quickly.

How Is Compensation For CICA Claims Calculated?

If your CICA claim for foster care abuse is successful, you will receive compensation as per the 2012 Scheme tariff. The tariff compensates for physical and sexual abuse as well as the psychiatric harm caused. We have taken some of the tariff amounts for use in our table. The top entry is not from the 2012 Scheme tariff.

Compensation Table

It is important to note that the examples of CICA payouts given in this table are fixed amounts.

InjuryTariff AmountNotes
Sexual assault with a Loss of Earnings and Special ExpensesUp to £500,000Sexual assault as well as lost income, administrative costs, domestic support and other special expenses.
Non-consensual penile penetration of anus, vagina and/or mouth.£44,000Resulting in severe and permanently disabling mental illness and serious internal bodily injury.
£22,000Resulting in serious internal bodily injuries.
Sexual Assault£27,000Leading to a severely disabling permanent mental illness confirmed by psychiatric prognosis.
£8,200Frequent repetitive incidents of severe abuse over a period of 3 years or more.
Other Payments£22,000Infection with one or more of Hepatitis B, C or HIV.
£11,000Permanent disability resulting from infection with an STI other than Hepatitis B, C or HIV.
£5,500Pregnancy as a result of a sexual offence.

The multiple injuries formula is applied to CICA claims made for more than one injury. This means claimants who sustained multiple injuries will receive:

  • 100% of the tariff amount for their highest-value injury.
  • 30% of the tariff for the next highest or an injury of equal value.
  • 15% of the tariff for the third highest or an injury of equal value.

While the Scheme only awards compensation for a maximum of 3 injuries, you could receive an additional payment if you became pregnant, contracted an STI, or lost a foetus as a result of the physical or sexual abuse of your foster carer. 

You could also receive compensation for certain financial costs incurred due to your criminal injury. For example, you could receive a loss of earnings payment for any income lost due to time taken off work and a special expenses payment covering costs such as repairs or replacements to personal aid equipment.

There are eligibility criteria that apply when claiming for a special expenses and loss of earnings payment. To get a more detailed estimate of the compensation you could receive for abuse in foster care, speak to a member of our team. Reach our team 24 hours a day via the contact information given below.

Make A Claim For Foster Care Abuse Using A Specialised No Win No Fee Solicitor

Before you can start a criminal injury claim for foster care abuse, you will need to check your eligibility to begin a claim. Our team of dedicated and experienced advisors can provide you with an assessment of your particular circumstances free of charge. 

If eligible to claim, a sexual abuse claims solicitor from our expert panel who has experience handling foster care abuse cases could offer to take your claim under a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA).

A CFA is a specific type of No Win No Fee contract that offers claimants distinct advantages. Firstly, there are no upfront fees required for your solicitor’s services as well as no ongoing costs for their work. There are also no fees to pay your solicitor for the work completed on your case if it fails.

If your claim succeeds, your solicitor will deduct a success fee from your compensation as a percentage which has a legal cap. Due to the cap, you can receive the majority of your awarded settlement.

For a zero-cost, no-obligation assessment of your eligibility to begin a claim or to ask any questions you may have regarding the claims process, you can reach our advisors 24/7 via these contact details:

  • Call us on the number given above.
  • Contact us through our website.
  • Click the chat box in the bottom left of your screen.

criminal law

More Resources About Making A Physical Or Sexual Abuse Claim

Read some of our other guides to making a CICA claim:

External resources you may find useful:

Thank you for reading our guide to making a CICA claim following foster care abuse. Our advisory team can provide free and confidential claims advice, as well as a zero-obligation assessment of your eligibility to begin a claim for child abuse during your foster placement. Contact our team today using the details given above.