By Danielle Graves. Last Updated 25th November 2022. This is a guide to suing the foster care system, a perpetrator or claiming through the CICA for compensation if you have been sexually abused or raped by a foster carer. Most foster families or foster parents are good people, who sacrifice a lot for the children they care for. However, there is a tiny number of predatory individuals who use the foster care system to take advantage of and abuse the children who are placed in their care. Children and young people who have been raped by a foster parent, or sexually abused whilst in foster care, will often bear the scars of this harrowing experience for their entire lives. (In this guide we use the terms child and children to refer to children and teenagers under the age of 18).
If you have survived child rape or child sexual assault in the foster care system, you may be able to claim compensation for the terrible wrong that was done to you. Of course, no amount of money can take away the pain and trauma of being a rape victim, but making a compensation claim can provide you with funds to live a good-quality life going forwards. Claiming compensation from the foster care system or the perpetrator may also hold those responsible to account for their abuse, which cost you part of your childhood.
If you wish to claim foster care abuse compensation, trust Legal Helpline to handle your claim. Call us on 0161 6969 685 today for your free consultation or use our online claims form to reach us, and if we can see that you have legitimate grounds to claim compensation for sexual abuse, we can provide you with an experienced solicitor who will handle your claim. We promise that the call will be handled with professionalism and sensitivity and everything you tell us will be in confidence.
Select A Section
- A Guide On Claiming Compensation If Raped By A Foster Parent
- What Is Rape In Foster Care?
- PTSD And Psychological Injuries Suffered By Rape Victims
- Physical Trauma And Injuries Suffered By Rape Victims
- How To Report Rape By A Foster Parent
- When To Seek Help For Sex-Based Violence
- Claims For Social Services And Local Authority Negligence
- How Children Could Use A Litigation Friend To Help Them Claim Compensation
- Time Limits To Claim If Raped By A Foster Parent
- CICA Claims For Being Raped By A Foster Parent
- Statistics Highlighting Sexual Abuse In Foster Care
- Calculating Compensation If Raped By A Foster Parent
- Additional Compensation That Rape Victims Could Claim
- Foster Care Abuse Compensation Via The Hardship Fund
- Sexual Assault Compensation – Claim With No Win No Fee Lawyers
- Helpful Resources
If you have suffered foster care abuse or were raped by a foster carer, you may be able to claim compensation from the foster care system, the perpetrator or the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA). You could claim if you are now an adult who wishes to claim for historical sexual abuse. A Litigation Friend could also claim compensation on behalf of a child who has been molested or raped. The compensation awarded will go to that child after they turn 18.
To begin your claim for foster care rape and foster care abuse compensation, call Legal Helpline today. Alternatively, use our online claims form to reach us and if we can see that you are owed compensation for your harrowing ordeal, we could provide you with a solicitor or lawyer to handle your claim.
When a child is unable to live with their biological parents because the family cannot provide adequate standards of care, they go into the foster care system. This is often under a court order. Foster parents, sometimes called foster carers, house the children on a temporary basis in their own homes. Sometimes the children will go back to their biological family, be adopted, or be in long-term foster care with a single family for the rest of their childhood.
Sadly, some children are placed with several different foster families for the extent of their childhood, which can be incredibly difficult for the child. Sometimes a child will be placed in a residential group home rather than with a family. Despite the overwhelming majority of foster parents and foster carers doing a good job to care for the children that have been placed with them, there are instances of foster care abuse and neglect, where foster parents abuse their power over children. This can include physical or emotional neglect, or physical, verbal, emotional or sexual abuse, including instances where a child is raped by a foster parent. The child who is raped can be female or male. Rape is one of the most serious crimes a person can commit, and a person who commits rape can be prosecuted under the Sexual Offences Act 2003. Rape can have a devastating effect on the victim as well as their family and is inexcusable.
People who are raped often suffer trauma that lasts throughout their lifetime. They often experience mental health problems such as anxiety or depression, and they may feel a reduced sense of self-worth. Some may even engage in self-harm, abuse drugs or alcohol, or try to commit suicide. Sometimes the person who has been raped experiences social stigma, for example, people may say that the person bought the rape upon themselves by their dress or behaviour. People around them may refer to them as “damaged goods” or shun them, causing further psychological harm and isolation.
Many people who have been raped will develop PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder. The charity PTSD UK explains that 94% of people who are raped will develop symptoms of PTSD in the first two weeks of being raped. 50% of rape victims will experience long term symptoms of PTSD. PTSD rape victim symptoms can include stress, anxiety, flashbacks to the traumatic incident, panic attacks, avoidance of situations that remind the person of the rape, and sleep problems, amongst other issues.
If you have been raped as a child or an adult, it is important not to blame yourself for the crimes of others and to seek the correct psychological support to help you process the trauma.
Rape victims may also suffer physical injuries to their genitals or anus. If the rapist hits or assaults them violently, other injuries such as facial fractures or whiplash may also occur. If a person reports they have been raped they will receive a medical examination by a qualified doctor, or in the case of a child, a paediatrician. The doctor’s findings can be used as evidence to prosecute the rapist. Because of the invasive nature of these procedures, the doctor will need to obtain informed consent.
People who have been raped may be able to claim compensation for the physical and psychological injuries they have suffered as a result of their abuse.
If you have been raped by a foster parent, it is important to report your rape to the police. Many people who were victims of historic abuse or sexual assault believe that they can no longer report the rape to the police, but that is not true. The police will still investigate reports of historical abuse or sexual assault and if the evidence is available, it may result in the rapist being convicted. The people responsible or who enabled your abuse may still work for the local authority, so it is important that they are investigated. If you are a woman who has been raped you can report the rape to CRISIS. Victim Support has support services available for men and women who have been raped, too.
If you are a child who has been raped or is suffering from sexual abuse at the hands of a foster carer or another person, it is important that you don’t suffer in silence. If you don’t feel comfortable telling the police you can tell a teacher, doctor or another trusted adult who will be able to help you. You can also call Childline if you have suffered child rape or sexual assault, for help.
If you are raped or sexually abused, it is important to seek help as soon as possible. A more minor form of abuse can escalate into a more serious pattern of abuse if the authorities don’t intervene.
If someone engages in the following behaviours, they are sexually abusing you:
- Touching you in a way that is unwanted, for example on the chest, legs or between your legs.
- Forced kissing.
- Making you watch sexual acts, in person or on video, or pictures of sexual acts.
- Forcing you to have sex with them.
- You are “passed around”, meaning that the abuser forces you to have sex, kiss, be touched or commit sexual acts with other people.
Having sex or sexual relations with anyone under the age of 16 is illegal. If someone over the age of 16 engages in sexual acts with someone under the age of 16, they have committed statutory rape or sexual assault, even if they obtained consent from the minor.
If you have been sexually assaulted or raped, seek help immediately from the organisations we have mentioned above. We will point you to more organisations that can help at the end of this guide.
If it is reported that a child has been abused in foster care, the local authority that provides the foster care will have procedures to investigate and deal with the abuse. However, an independent body such as the police will also get involved in case the abuse has happened due to negligence on the part of the local authority. If you are a victim of historical sexual abuse or rape in foster care, you may wish to report the matter to the police.
How can a local authority or social services fail to protect a child from sexual abuse or rape? Failed foster care abuse prevention can include not carrying out correct background checks on foster carers, not checking in regularly with the child to report on their progress, and ignoring reports or complaints about the behaviour of a foster carer or a member of staff. If it has proven that a local authority or social services enabled an abuser, or failed to protect a child, the victim may be able to make a compensation claim against that body.
A child under the age of 18, or an adult with a reduced mental capacity, can still claim if they have what’s known as a litigation friend acting on their behalf. This means if a young person makes a rape victim claim, or seeks compensation for sexual abuse, an adult can be appointed to act on their behalf as the case unfolds. A person can apply to be a litigation friend or the court can appoint them. Any compensation awarded will go towards the child’s care, or they will be able to access the funds after they have turned 18.
There is a time limit of three years from the date of the incident in which to make a compensation claim. This means that an injured person has three years to begin their claim. Often people who have been raped don’t report the assault or seek retribution for the rape at the time. They may feel ashamed, or the perpetrator may have made them feel that the abuse was their fault. The courts can be understanding on this matter and allow people to claim for historical sexual abuse. If you were raped by a foster carer more than three years ago, we can advise you on whether or not you can still claim compensation. Call Legal Helpline today and one of our advisors will be happy to help.
If you make a claim through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA), a time limit of two years from the reporting of the crime to the police applies.
Does The Same Roof Rule Apply To Your Claim?
People who lived in the same home as their attacker were previously prevented from receiving compensation from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority, under what was known as the “same roof” rule. In 2019, the government scrapped the same roof rule, allowing victims of child sex abuse and other violent crimes in the home the opportunity to claim compensation. So the “same roof” rule is unlikely to affect your foster care abuse compensation claim.
Many people who claim compensation for rape and sexual assault do so through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA). This is a government organisation which operates in England, Scotland and Wales to compensate victims of violent crimes. If you appoint a solicitor to handle your claim, they can liaise with the CICA on your behalf to ensure that you get a good rate of compensation for your injuries.
According to research by York University, one in every hundred children in foster care suffer abuse. The study went onto explain that there are between 450 and 550 proven cases of abuse in foster care and between 250 and 300 cases of confirmed child abuse in residential care each year. These foster care abuse statistics paint a shocking picture of the number of children who are abused. The study explained that two-thirds of the abuse was physical or violent and 11% of the abuse was sexual, including instances of abuse over a long period of time. Although there is a small percentage of children who are in the foster care system, one child being mistreated this way is one too many, so new improvements in foster care abuse prevention are always welcome.
If you make a compensation claim against the local authority or the perpetrator, you can use this rape victim compensation calculator to estimate how much compensation you could be owed. The calculator shows the amount of compensation you could claim in general damages (excludes special damages) and is based on guidelines from the Judicial College.
Type Of Psychiatric Damage Comments Compensation
Severe The injured parties ability to cope with education and life in general will have been severely affected. How much compensation is awarded may depend on the extent to which treatment either has or will be effective. The prognosis will be poor. £54,830 to £115,730
Moderately Severe Cases may be awarded compensation at the top or the bottom of the award bracket however most cases will fall in the middle. Compensation will depend on the extent to which the victim can recover. £19,070 to £54,830
Moderate At this level, the overall prognosis and level of improvement will have been or will be good. An example at this level may include symptoms similar to work-related stress. £5,860 to £19,070
If you make a compensation claim through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority, you will be entitled to different rates of pay. This rape victim compensation calculator estimates how much compensation you could be entitled to receive.
Type Of Abuse Severity Of Abuse Comments Settlement
Physical Abuse Serious abuse This includes cases of intermittent physical assaults which results in the victim accmulates injuries which have healed such as, burns & scalds which do not cause disfigurement. £2,000
Physical Abuse Severe abse Severe physical abuse with patterns of repetitive violence. The abuse may result in some minor form of disfigurement. £5,500
Abuse Of Children Minor Abuse Instances of either intermittent or isolated assaults. May result in weals with hair which has been pulled out £1,000
Abuse Of Children Serious abuse Abuse of children and young persons which result in the victim accumulating wounds which have healed. These may include injuries such as scalds and burns. They will not be disfigured. £2,000
Abuse Of Children Severe Abuse Severe and persistent pattern of violence to children which has resulted in multiple injuries. These may be at three different levels:
moderate - £5,500
Significant - £8,200
Severe - £13,500
Sexual Assault n/a Oral or physical acts above the clothing. £1,000
Sexual Assault Serious Non-penile penetrative acts as well as / or oral-genital acts. £2,000
Sexual Assault Severe Non-penile penetrative acts as well as / or oral-genital acts. £3,000
Non-consensual penetration of the victim. Single attacker Which includes non-consensual penetration of the of the vagina, anus or the mouth. £11,000
Non-consensual penetration of the victim. Two or more attackers Which includes non-consensual penetration of the of the vagina, anus or the mouth. £13,500
Non-consensual penetration of the victim. Serious internal injuries Which includes non-consensual penetration of the of the vagina, anus or the mouth which results in internal injuries which are serious. £22,000
Non-consensual penetration of the victim. Moderate mental illness Non-consensual penetration which leave the victim with a mental illness which disables them. The illness will have been diagnosed. £22,000
Non-consensual penetration of the victim. Moderate mental illness Which results in mental illness which has been confirmed and which is disabling. £22,000
Non-consensual penetration of the victim. Severe mental illness Which results in mental illness which has been confirmed and which is disabling. £27,000
Non-consensual penetration of the victim. Moderate mental illness Which results in mental illness which has been confirmed and which is disabling. £33,000
Non-consensual penetration of the victim. Severe mental illness £44,000
Non-consensual penetration of the victim. Repeated incidents up to 3 years Where there has been a pattern of repetitive incidents. There may be one attacker or more. £16,500
Non-consensual penetration of the victim. Repeated incidents exceeding 3 years Where there has been a pattern of repetitive incidents. There may be one attacker or more. £22,000
For an accurate estimate of how much compensation you could be owed for sexual abuse in the foster care system, contact Legal Helpline today to speak to one of our knowledgeable advisors.
People who make a successful compensation claim for assault are awarded general damages to compensate them for the loss of amenity, suffering and pain they have experienced as a result of their physical and psychological injuries.
They will also be entitled to another head of claim known as special damages. Special damages may reimburse injured parties for any “out of pocket” expenses which they experienced because of their injuries. They could include medical expenses, including the cost of counselling or therapy to help the victim come to terms with their ordeal, travel expenses, and expenses for loss of income if they have had to take time off work due to PTSD or other mental health problems. If claiming through the CICA, special damages are called special expenses.
People who have been the victim of a violent crime after 2012 may qualify to claim compensation through The Hardship Fund. The Hardship Fund provides compensation to low-income people who do not receive statutory sick pay from work and who have been victims of violent crimes, so they can take time off work to come to terms with their ordeal, or to recover from their injuries. Read this Victim Support guide to The Hardship Fund to find out more.
You could potentially claim compensation for foster case abuse. If you are seeking abuse compensation, a No Win No Fee lawyer could support your claim. They could provide their legal services for your sexual assault compensation claim under a type of No Win No Fee arrangement called a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA).
When you hire a No Win No Fee lawyer to support your rape compensation claim, they usually won’t charge you upfront for their services. If your claim is successful, a legally capped success fee will be taken from your abuse compensation. Should your claim not succeed, you usually won’t have to pay for your No Win No Fee lawyer’s services.
Our advisors can assess the potential of your foster case abuse claim for free. Should your abuse or rape compensation claim seem eligible, you could be connected to a lawyer from our panel. Contact us today by:
If you are a child who has been raped or sexually abused or an adult who is concerned about a child, you can contact the NSPCC helplines for support.
Rape Crisis provides help and support for women and girls who have experienced sexual violence.
Victim Support, offer support to anyone who has been affected by a violent crime.
Guide by HE
Edited by REB