Children in local authority care are some of the most vulnerable members of our society. Many will already have experienced abuse in their lifetime. Where they are then abused in a Children’s Home or in the care of the local authority, the harm already caused to them is made so much worse. In this article, we explain how to claim compensation in the unfortunate event that you or a loved one have suffered abuse.

Children who are placed in local authority care, such as Children’s Homes, are among the most vulnerable people in our society. Sadly, some children in local authority care are sexually abused by those people who are employed to protect them.

Historically, people who aim to abuse children have targeted children’s homes for the very reason that there is little-to-no parental oversight other than by the people employed to safeguard the children in a home. Where that person intends to abuse a child, it can make it very difficult for that child to get away from the abuse.

Child abuse and neglect can have a huge negative effect on a child’s development, particularly where the child has already experienced abuse or neglect in his or her family life, as can often be the case for children in local authority care.

Many child abuse survivors will want to seek justice against the individual abuser, which is sometimes achieved when the abuser is convicted in the criminal courts. However, survivors may also wish to seek recognition that the organisation which should have looked after them failed to do so. Such recognition can often only be obtained by claiming compensation.

If you have been abused or neglected in local authority care, you may be able to claim against the local authority or council that placed you in the Children’s Home where the abuse took place. This is the case even where that Children’s Home is no longer in operation or if the local council has changed since that time.

Local councils are usually insured against these types of claim and can be brought to account if they have been negligent in caring for you or if one of their employees or volunteers has used their position to abuse you.

How children’s homes abuse claims work

It is the legal duty of local authorities to ensure the welfare and safety of children in its care and to protect children from significant harm, including abuse, neglect and accidents. This duty remains the same whether the child is in the local authority’s care for a few weeks or on a permanent basis.

Where a child has been sexually abused, physically assaulted, emotionally damaged, subjected to harsh and humiliating punishments, or even neglected in a Children’s Home, it may be possible to claim compensation from the local council for the abusive acts of its employee and/or for the local authority’s negligence.

Alternatively, or in addition to a claim against a local authority, it may be possible to claim compensation directly from the abuser. Unfortunately, the viability of such a claim will depend on whether the abuser has sufficient assets to pay the compensation. Cleversons solicitors can advise you on claiming against the abuser and can arrange for an asset report to be prepared which will identify whether or not the abuser is a financially viable defendant.

Claiming for child abuse or neglect

If you or your child has been a victim of abuse or neglect in local authority care or a children’s home, Cleversons solicitors can help you make a claim against the local authority and/or individual abuser as well as a claim through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA). Send us a message using the contact form below, or call us on 0203 9252 301 to speak to an expert today.

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