We recover compensation for a woman who was abused in foster care while she was a child
If you were abused in foster care and wish to claim compensation then our experienced and compassionate team are here to help. Call our national helpline in confidence for a free case assessment and details of no win, no fee funding on freephone 0333 888 0445. Alternatively send an email to us at [email protected]
Our specialist abuse team were contacted by L, who is now in her 30s. She told us that as a child she and her siblings had been neglected by their parents and were placed in foster care.
However, what should have been a place of safety and refuge for a vulnerable child turned nightmarish when L’s foster father began sexually abusing her. Not only did he force her to perform sex acts on him, but he raped her repeatedly.
L bravely confided in her foster mother what was happening and, although the foster mother was not very supportive to begin with, the foster father was ultimately convicted of offences against L while she was still a teenager.
It used to be the case that foster carers were not seen as “employees” of social services, despite them being paid for the care they were providing. This meant that until 2017 the only option for someone who wanted to recover compensation for being abused in foster care was to make a claim against the abusive foster parent direct. As many individuals have limited means to pay an appropriate level of compensation this meant that those who had been abused often had nowhere to turn.
However in 2017 the law changed and the courts ruled that foster parents should be treated as “akin to employees” of the local authority. This meant that claims for those abused in foster care could be brought against the organisation placing them in an abusive environment.
We listened to everything that L had been through, and obtained her records from social services and the police. Although L was outside the usual time limit for bringing a compensation claim for events in her childhood (claims must usually be made by your 21st birthday) we believed that she had a good chance of persuading a court that this time limit should be extended and we were happy to deal with her case on a No Win – No Fee basis.
The local authority that had placed L with the foster family agreed that they were legally responsible for the acts of abuse by L’s foster father. They also, at our invitation, agreed to “stop the clock” on the time limit so that this problem was not getting any worse while we gathered evidence. These two factors took a lot of pressure off L, as well as meaning that legal costs were kept lower as we did not have to rush to issue court proceedings to protect L’s position.
We arranged for L to meet a psychiatrist who specialises in helping those who have suffered childhood abuse. A report was prepared which included treatment recommendations. We were delighted to be able to arrange this treatment on a deferred payment basis meaning that L could start her treatment immediately, even while we were still negotiating about how much compensation she should receive overall.
Thankfully L found the recommended treatment extremely helpful and has been able to start a job for the first time in years.
We ultimately agreed an out of court settlement for L in excess of £50,000.
This is just one of many cases we have successfully concluded for those who have been abused in foster care. If you are looking for experienced lawyers with a track record of success then call our national helpline in confidence for a free case assessment and details of no win, no fee funding on freephone 0333 888 0445. Alternatively send an email to us at [email protected]