Foster mother abuse and compensation claims

Victims of abuse by foster parents can seek compensation


Social Services admit that mistakes were made after foster mother is found guilty of inflicting 20 years of sadistic abuse on three children

On 20 March 2007 a foster mother was found guilty of subjecting three children in her care to a horrifying catalogue of physical and mental abuse which lasted for 20 years.

According to the evidence given at the trial she treated the children like slaves. She would punish the children because she thought they were possessed by the devil and on one occasion imprisoned two of them, naked and starving, in a room for a month.

The abuse, which lasted from 1986 to 2005, was not spotted by the authorities and the Gloucestershire Safeguarding Children Board (GSCB), who are the body who are now responsible for monitoring children in charge of children's welfare in the county, admitted that mistakes had been made.

One of the mistakes that was admitted to was the failure to share information between the numerous people involved with the family. This was one of the failings which led to the death of the eight-year-old Victoria Climbie.

Although the law concerning the liability of the Local Authority for the actions of a foster parent is unclear, it is well recognised that they do owe a duty to protect children and take reasonable precautions to prevent them from coming to harm. If it can be shown that the Local Authority have failed in their duty then they may be liable to pay compensation for the physical and psychological injuries which were caused by the foster parent's abuse.

About compensation for child abuse

People who have been victim of violent crimes may also be entitled to receive compensation from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA).

The specialist abuse team at Irwin Mitchell Solicitors has significant experience of dealing with claims against Local Authorities and has successfully settled a number of cases where the Social Services have been held liable for the actions of Foster Parents. We can also assist in making claims the CICA.

If you or someone you know has been affected by abuse by a foster parent or any other form of child abuse, our experts can help. Fill in our online claims form for free, confidential legal advice.