Claims against local authoritiesChild sexual abuse often occurs in the home, behind closed doors. In these cases children are dependent on local authorities, councils and social services to protect them from continuing harm, usually by removing them from the environment in which the abuse is likely to take place.

However the authorities do not always act as swiftly as they should. The result is that many children go on to suffer abuse that could otherwise have been avoided.

If social services have failed to protect a child from harm, we may be able to help. We are experienced in pursuing claims to compensate children who have been so badly let down in this way. These cases are known as a 'failure to remove' claims.

In order to make a successful compensation claim against a local authority we must demonstrate that the authority knew (or ought to have known) that the child was being abused by someone in the family home. The authority has a duty to make enquiries and investigate these situations to enable them to decide whether they need to take action. Vulnerable children are often abused by perpetrators who are already known to the authorities. Many abusers have a history and the local authorities should take this into account. If such people are regarded as presenting a risk to children but the authority fails to take steps to protect them then any child suffering abuse may have the right to claim compensation against the authority concerned.

We can also assist where children have been abused by their foster carers. In 2017 the courts said that local councils were 'vicariously liable' for abuse carried out by foster carers. In other words, the council are legally responsible for abuse carried out by foster carers even if the council were not themslves at fault. This means that if you were abused whilst in foster care you will be entitled to make a compensation claim against the council. You can read a case study of a successful foster care abuse claim here.

If you have been abused or neglected in the family home as a consequence of social service’s failure to remove or protect you, or if you were abuseed by a foster carer, then contact us now for free initial legal guidance in the strictest confidence.

For a FREE and confidential assessment of your local authority compensation claim call our specialist lawyers on FREEPHONE 0808 139 1597 or email us at

Legal 500 Association of child abuse lawyers children law family law childhood champion awards Legal Expert