I Was Raped By My Foster Parents Can I Claim Compensation? – What To Do? – How To Claim?

raped by my foster parents can i claim guide

Raped by foster parents compensation claims guide

By Fern Easton. Last Updated 8th March 2021. Welcome to our guide, looking at the question, “I was raped by my foster parents, can I claim?”. If you were raped by a foster parent, you might be entitled to seek compensation for the pain, suffering and harm you were caused by your assailant. Foster parents have a duty of care towards children who are placed into their care. Children in foster care must be able to trust in their guardians, and if the foster parent subjects a child to sexual abuse, they must be held accountable for their actions.

To find out more about claiming rape compensation, what is needed in the way of evidence, and your legal options in pursuing a claim, please get in touch with a member of our team on 0800 073 8801.

Alternatively, for more information on the claims process, whether through a Civil Court or the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme, please continue reading our guide by clicking on the sections below:

Select a Section

A Guide To Rape Compensation Claims Against A Foster Parent

Our guide to claiming rape compensation provides essential information on the claims process and what is required in the way of evidence to support a claim against an abusive foster parent or an appointed carer. So if you have found yourself asking the question, “I was raped by my foster parents, can I claim?”, then this article could be helpful to you. 

We cover claiming compensation through a Civil Court or the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme (CICA). The points covered throughout the guide includes the following:

  • The definition of rape and the type of injuries a victim may suffer
  • Why some children are more at risk than others when placed in foster care, and how the traumatic experiences can negatively impact their lives and well-being
  • We provide information on the statistics involving cases of sexual abuse and rape by foster parents or carers in the UK
  • We explain the psychological damage and physical injuries a victim of rape may suffer as a result of having been raped by a foster parent or carer
  • We provide essential advice on how to seek help and who to turn to if you are a victim of sexual abuse or rape in a foster home
  • We explain how to report this type of abuse and who can offer essential advice on how to pursue a claim to bring an abuser to justice
  • We provide information on when and how a local authority or Social Services may be held responsible if a child or younger person has been raped by a foster parent
  • We offer advice on how to seek rape compensation through the CICA
  • We explain the role of a ‘litigation friend’ when cases of sexual abuse or rape by a foster parent involves a child 
  • We provide essential information regarding the difference in the time limits associated with claims made through a Civil Court and those submitted to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority
  • We also provide a table offering a general idea of how much rape compensation you may be awarded together with the sort of damages you could include in a claim
  • We offer advice on claiming rape compensation through the Hardship Fund and what this would entail
  • Lastly, we explain how a No Win No Fee solicitor may take on your claim and how signing a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) could help you seek the compensation you rightly deserve without worrying about how to pay for legal representation

What Is Rape By A Foster Parent Or Carer?

A child or younger person placed in foster care should not have to worry about their safety and well-being. A foster home is supposed to offer a welcoming, kind, and stable environment that a child can thrive in. When a foster parent abuses the trust that a child has in them, the effects can be devastating.

If you or someone you know was raped by a foster parent, the abuser must be brought to justice.

There are different forms of abuse that could occur in a foster home, whether neglect, emotional abuse, and sexual assault. Whatever the abuse, the consequences for the victim can last for the rest of their lives.

If a foster parent or carer has sexually assaulted or raped you while in their care, you could be entitled to seek compensation by submitting a claim to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority. If your abuser/assailant has sufficient funds, you could pursue a claim against them through a Civil Court.

To find out more about seeking rape compensation, please get in touch with a member of our team.

Foster Parent Rape And Abuse Statistics

Although the majority of children who are placed into foster homes are well cared for, there are times when a foster parent may abuse them. The Crime Survey for England and Wales for the year ending 2019 revealed that 0.8% of adults surveyed reported being sexually abused by a carer or guardian before the age of 16.

By 31st March 2019, the number of children who were the subject of a Child Protection Plan stood at 25,330. Of these, 2,230 were related to sexual abuse. Numbers released by Childline included in the CSEW showed that, of 21,842 abuse-related counselling sessions carried out, 9,452 were related to sexual abuse, as the graph below shows. 

Child abuse statistics graph

Child abuse statistics graph

The NSPCC and York University established that 1 in every 100 children in residential care and foster homes are abused annually in the UK. The study tracked allegations of abuse between 2009 and 2012.

The research discovered there were between 450 and 550 proven cases of abuse in foster homes every year. On top of this, the study found that between 250 and 300 proven cases of abuse occurred in residential care.

It was found that in the majority of cases, the abuse or neglect was committed by carers, with a third of children being physically harmed, while 11% of children were sexually abused. Over 60% of the abused children were girls, with the average age of victims being nine years old.

Trauma And Physical Injuries Caused By Being Raped By A Foster Parent

The short-term effects of being raped by a foster parent can be devastating for a child in care. However, the longer-term consequences are often extremely serious. Many children suffer trauma and physical injuries, which includes self-harming. Other physical injuries a child may suffer if they are raped by a foster parent could include the following:

  • Bruising
  • Bleeding, pain, and soreness around their genitals or anus
  • Discharge
  • Contracting a sexually transmitted disease
  • Falling pregnant

The physical injuries a child in care may sustain could be a result of ongoing sexual abuse. If you or someone you know is being or has been sexually abused while in the care of a foster parent, you could be entitled to compensation for the damage, pain, suffering and harm you were caused.

For more information answering the question, “I was raped by my foster parents can I claim and if so, what injuries and damage can I claim for?” our next section will be of use to you. 

Psychological Injuries And PTSD Rape Victims May Suffer

Apart from the physical injuries a child victim of rape may sustain, the psychological damage they suffer can be catastrophic. This includes a child having mental health issues which could include the following:

  • Depression
  • Eating disorders
  • Substance abuse
  • Self-harm
  • PTSD – post-traumatic stress disorder

Many victims of rape, whether they are adults or minors, develop PTSD, which means they may experience the following:

  • Flashbacks
  • Anxiety
  • Stress

Studies have shown that anything up to 94% of rape survivors develop these symptoms and do so within the first 2 weeks after being raped or sexually assaulted, whether by a foster parent or other perpetrator. Around 50% of rape victims suffer from the symptoms of PTSD long-term.

When children are the victims of rape, the symptoms are more extreme, with feelings of guilt and shame often taking over their lives. The reason being they do not get the support they really need when they need it the most.

The consequences of PTSD typically include the following:

  • Withdrawing and having trouble interacting with others
  • Avoiding issues and places that remind them of what they were put through
  • Problems sleeping
  • Self-harm
  • Low self-esteem
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Having panic attacks
  • Substance abuse
  • Hyper-sexuality

To get support if you are suffering from PTSD due to having been raped by a foster parent, you can arrange for an appointment with your GP, who could then refer you to a specialist.

According to guidance provided by NICE, it is recommended that people who suffer from PTSD should use ‘trauma-focused psychological treatments, which include Eye Movement Desensitisation Reprocessing (EMDR) as well as trauma-focused cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT).

If you’re looking for further information to answer the question “I was raped by my foster parents, can I claim?” then please continue reading. 

When Victims Of Sexual Violence Should Seek Help

Anyone who is subjected to sexual assault or is raped should seek help and support. However, when it comes to children and younger people who are in the care of a foster parent, getting support may be hard. With this said, there is help and support out there, and this includes sexual assault referral centres (SARCs).

Other places to seek support and treatment includes:

  • A doctor or practice nurse in a GP surgery
  • Victim Support
  • Women’s Aid
  • The Survivors Trust
  • Survivors UK for male victims of sexual assault and rape
  • The National Domestic Abuse
  • The Rape Crisis
  • An A&E department
  • GUM or sexual health clinic
  • A contraceptive clinic
  • A young people’s service
  • NHS
  • The police

If you are anxious or frightened, the police have specially trained officers who would handle your case sympathetically before advising on how best to proceed, all the while leaving the decision to investigate the case up to you.

If you do not want to contact the police, SARCs and other organisations have specially trained advisers who would provide much-needed advice and support. They are referred to as independent sexual violence advisers (ISVAs) and would only inform the police if you ask them to.

How To Report Rape By A Foster Parent Or Carer

Social services or a local authority might bear some responsibility if you were sexually abused or raped by a foster parent. The reason being they have a degree of responsibility to ensure that a foster home is a safe environment to place a child in.

If Social Services or a local authority fails to notice that a child in a foster home may be the victim of sexual abuse even though they routinely check up on them, they could be held partially responsible for the harm a child has been caused by a foster parent.

How To Report Being Raped By A Foster Parent

If you are the victim of sexual abuse or have been raped by a foster parent, there is help and support out there when you need it the most. Should you feel you are in immediate danger, you must call the police by dialling 999.

If you are a minor, your case would be dealt with by the Child Protection Unit of the local police station.

If, for any reason, which includes being too frightened to contact the police, some areas of England and Wales have Sexual Assault Referral Centres (SARCs) where trained advisers can offer advice and provide medical support.

Other organisations that provide support and help to victims of sexual assault and rape include the following:

Should you not wish for these organisations to contact the police to make a sexual assault or rape report on your behalf, they would not, unless you ask them to.

It is important to note that trained police officers would handle your case, all the while ensuring that you are kept safe from any danger. The information provided to the police would make sure your abuser is brought to justice.

If you’re asking yourself the question, “I was raped by my foster parents, can I claim, and if so, who could I claim from?” then the next section will be of use to you. 

Could You Claim Against A Negligent Local Authority Or Social Services

You might be able to claim compensation from the local authority or Social Services if you were sexually abused or raped by a foster parent. However, you would need to show that they were aware you were being abused for a claim to stand. This could be because although a representative from a local authority or Social Services routinely visited the foster home to check all was okay, they failed to notice you were being sexually abused, or they failed to do anything about the situation you found yourself in.

If you are at all concerned about seeking compensation for having been sexually assaulted or raped by a foster parent from the local authority or Social Services, a member of our team could provide the support and legal advice you need. Alternatively, if you’d like to speak to a member of our team to have the question “I was raped by my foster parents, can I claim?” answered, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team today.

Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority Claims

You have the option to make a personal injury claim against your abuser through a Civil Court. However, another option is to pursue a rape claim for compensation through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority, the CICA.

You would need to be sure that an abuser had sufficient funds to pay the compensation awarded through the Civil Court. If they do not, it would be wiser to make an application for rape compensation through the CICA Scheme. With this said, you must be eligible and meet the criteria as set out by the authority for an application to be considered.

It is also worth noting that the injury you suffered must be listed in the CICA tariff of injuries, and it must be valued at £1,000 and over. If injuries are valued at less than this, the authority could not consider an application for compensation through the Scheme.

Claiming compensation through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority can be complex. As such, it is best to seek legal advice before submitting an application to the authority. There is also a strict 2-year time limit that must be respected, although this can be extended in exceptional circumstances and in cases of historical sexual abuse.

How Litigation Friends Help Claimants Under 18

For answers to the question, “I was raped by my foster parents, can I claim if I’m under 18?” then please continue reading this section. Victims of rape under the age of 18 are not allowed to make a claim for compensation because they are minors. However, a responsible person can be appointed by the court as their ‘litigation friend’. The role of a litigation friend is to file a claim for compensation on behalf of a minor, but they cannot legally ‘represent’ the victim in a court.

A court can appoint the following people as a litigation friend for rape victims under the age of 18:

  • A guardian
  • A parent
  • A member of the family
  • A family friend
  • A solicitor
  • An Independent Mental Capacity Advocate (IMCA)
  • A Court of Protection deputy
  • A person who has an enduring or lasting power of attorney.’

Limitation Periods For Claims If Raped By A Foster Parent

If a personal injury claim is filed through a Civil Court, the time limit is 3 years from the date of the last incident. However, if an application for rape compensation is submitted to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority, the time limit is shorter, being 2 years from the date the crime was reported to the police. Without a report and a Crime Reference Number, the CICA would not consider an application for compensation.

With this said, the CICA does have the discretionary power to extend the 2-year deadline providing exceptional circumstances prevented a victim from submitting a rape claim through the Scheme within the time limit.

Same Roof Rule

The original Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme included what was known as the same roof rule’ which was set in place to make sure that an assailant/perpetrator could not benefit from any money the Scheme awarded to victims of violence who lived under the same roof’.

However, the rule was amended in 1979 so that victims of violence would be entitled to claim compensation for the harm they suffered, providing the victim no longer lives with the perpetrator and would not be likely to live with them again. It is worth noting, however, that the changes to the rule did not encompass claims submitted to the Scheme prior to the change.

As such, victims of crimes of violence prior to when the ‘same roof rule’ was altered were not able to claim compensation through the Criminal Injuries Scheme.

As a consequence, Parliament laid out a statutory instrument that abolished the pre-1979 rule, allowing more victims to re-apply for compensation through the Scheme even if they had been turned down in the past.

Raped By A Foster Parent Compensation Calculator

After having the question “I was raped by my foster parents can I claim?” addressed, the next question on your mind may be, “how much compensation could I be owed?”. Successful personal injury claims made through a Civil Court award victims compensation that is broken down into two parts as follows:

  • General damages for the injuries sustained
  • Special damages for out of pocket expenses incurred

If you are wondering how much rape compensation you could be awarded by a judge, the table below provides a general idea of the amounts awarded in general damages, which are based on the Judicial College Guidelines.

Injury typeJudicial College Guideline Bracket
Psychological Injury - Severe£51,460 to £108,620
Psychological Injury – Moderately Severe£17,900 to £51,460
Psychologicacl Injury – Moderate£5,500 to £17,900
Severe PTSD - Post-traumatic Stress Disorder£56,180 to £94,470

However, if an application for rape compensation is submitted to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority, the amount awarded would be based on the CICA tariff of injuries. Any injury sustained must be listed in the tariff for the authority to consider payment. It is also worth noting that an injury must be valued at £1,000 or over. If the injury is valued at less than this amount, the authority would not consider an application to the Scheme.

When it comes to claiming other damages through the Criminal Injuries Scheme, the authority may consider paying ‘special expenses’ and ‘loss of earnings’, providing there is enough evidence to show that these were essential.

Special Damages For Rape Victim Compensation Claims

As previously touched upon, claims filed through a Civil Court by victims of rape would be awarded general damages and special damages, which are awarded to compensate a claimant for their injuries and out of pocket expenses. In short, special damages are calculated on the actual expenses incurred by the victim. As such, all receipts and other relevant documentation must be provided to support claims for special damages.

The sort of expenses that may be included in a personal injury claim could include the following:

  • Travel expenses
  • Medical costs not covered by the NHS
  • Home and vehicle adaptations
  • Care costs
  • All other expenses incurred as a result of an injury

Applications to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority made by victims of violent crime are assessed differently to those pursued through a civil action. The authority would consider paying out ‘special expenses’ and ‘loss of earnings’, providing there is enough proof the expenditure was absolutely necessary.

To find out the answer to the question, “I was raped by my foster parents, can I claim even if my injuries were worth less than £1000?” read on to the next section. 

Claims To The Hardship Fund

Should you have suffered less serious injuries which are valued less than the minimum as set out by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (£1,000 or more), you could seek compensation by making an application to the Hardship Fund.

The fund was set in place by the Government to allow low paid workers the opportunity to seek compensation if they are victims of violent crimes when they are unable to work. The Hardship Fund is only available for injuries suffered in England and Wales.

No Win No Fee Claims If Raped By A Foster Parent

If you were raped by a foster parent, you might be worried about the cost of being represented by a lawyer. Our solicitors take on rape compensation claims for victims on a No Win No Fee basis, providing they can establish a claim is valid with a better than average chance of being successful.

In order to assess a rape claim, whether it is made through a Civil Court or through the CICA Scheme, the solicitor would offer you an initial consultation which is free of charge.

Once the solicitor is happy that your case is valid, they would ask you to sign a legal contract known as a No Win No Fee Agreement, otherwise called a Conditional Fee Agreement. Once the contract is signed by both parties, the solicitor can begin working on your case without having to ask you to pay them to do so. There would be no fees to pay until your rape claim is won and you are awarded compensation.

The amount payable to a No Win No Fee solicitor is called a ‘success fee’ and is capped by legislation, so you need not fear losing a chunk of your compensation. The fee is taken out of the money you receive. Should your rape claim be unsuccessful, you would not have to pay a No Win No Fee solicitor the ‘success fee’, nor any other fees, because of the contract both parties signed.

If you still have questions such as “I was raped by my foster parents can I claim, and if so, what is the process?” by the end of this guide, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team. 

How Our Criminal Injury Claims Team Could Help You

There are many options open to you when making a rape compensation claim. However, we believe we can offer you a service that is second to none. The initial consultation we provide to claimants is free of charge, and it allows us to determine whether you have a strong enough case to either submit to the CICA or through a Civil Court.

Other benefits we offer would include the following:

  • Should you need to be assessed by an independent medical professional, we would arrange for you to be examined by a specialist/consultant local to where you live
  • We would keep you apprised of what is happening throughout the claims process
  • We would offer an idea of the amount of rape compensation you could be awarded as early as possible
  • Should your case be complex and therefore a final settlement takes longer to reach, we would negotiate interim payments for you

For more information on how we could assist you in claiming rape compensation, please speak to a member of our team today.

Start Your Claim

To begin your claim, please phone one of our advisers on 0800 073 8801.

You can also send us an email at:

office@accidentclaims.co.uk

Alternatively, you can get in touch by requesting a call back by clicking on the link provided below:

Request a callback

Foster care sexual abuse claims- FAQs

What are the signs and symptoms of sexual abuse? 

When children are being sexually abused, they often don’t share their experiences. This may be because their abuser has convinced them this behaviour is normal, or they may have been bribed or threatened by them.

Children who are being sexually abused may exhibit behavioural changes. They might have trouble sleeping, with bedwetting and nightmares common experiences among children experiencing sexual abuse. There may also be physical issues related to the abuse, such as soreness or infections around the genitals.

Some children who are victims of sexual abuse may exhibit sexually inappropriate behaviour or use sexually explicit language.

What are the types of sexual abuse?

When looking at examples of sexual abuse of children, the abuse is often split into contact and non-contact sexual abuse. Contact sexual abuse involves physical contact between the abuser and their victim. It includes touching, kissing and sexual activities. Non-contact abuse doesn’t include any contact between the abuser and the child. It may include the abuser exposing themselves to the child, grooming a child online, making, viewing or distributing child abuse videos or pictures or exposing a child to pornography.

Essential References

For information regarding police negligence claims, please follow the link provided below:

Police negligence claims explained

Follow the link below for more information around claiming for psychological injuries:

Psychological injury claims 

For more guidance on submitting an application for compensation to the CICA, please click on the link below:

CICA Guidance

For more information on the role of Victim Support, please click on the link provided below:

Help and advice from Victim Support

if you are worried about a child who may be the victim of sexual abuse, you can find advice and help by clicking on the link below:

Help and Support from the NSPCC

For more information on claiming compensation for historical sexual abuse, please follow the link provided below:

How to claim compensation for historical sexual abuse

Thank you for reading our guide, which examined the question, “I was raped by my foster parents, can I claim?”.

Guide by HW

Edited by REB