Case study of a successful foster care claim involving a young man who was abused by his foster carers as a small child.
We were approached by a young man, J, in relation to his experiences in foster care. We had previously helped his sister with a claim and she had recommended he get in touch with us.
J had experienced a very difficult and unsettled life. His family was known to Social Services and he was ultimately removed from his birth mother and placed in foster care.
He was moved between various foster homes before being placed, along with his brother and sister, with a particular foster couple. This was in the mid 1990s, when he was aged 2 to 3 years.
Unfortunately these foster carers were predatory sex offenders and subjected all three of the children to sexual abuse. Their social worker had no idea of the abuse they were suffering until all the children had moved onto other placements and J’s sister had been adopted. J’s sister, still a young child, was able to disclose what had happened to her and her brothers in the foster placement.
The police and NSPCC were involved and investigated, concluding that, “it was very probable that the children were involved in, or witnessed, some form of abuse”. Unfortunately, due to J’s young age no criminal charges were brought against his abusers.
J continued to suffer a very disruptive and difficult childhood. As a young man he became homeless.
He approached us to see if we could help him to find out more about what he had been through as a child. We agreed to help him and make a foster care claim on a No Win, No Fee basis.
We obtained copies of his social services and medical records. A change in the law in 2017 means that councils are now legally liable for the actions of foster parents in the same way that employers are responsible for the actions of their employees. We therefore sent a formal letter of claim to the council explaining what had happened to J and what the impact on him had been.
As well as J’s own records, his sister also kindly let us use extracts from her own records which was invaluable in proving what had happened.
After a period of negotiation we were able to agree an out of court settlement of J’s foster care claim with the council. The settlement means that J will now be able to put down a deposit on a flat and he will therefore be securely housed and able to access the support he needs.
You can read about another abuse survivor who we helped to make a successful foster care claim here.