£50,000 Compensation for Sexual Abuse in Local Authority Care

Posted on: 4 mins read
Last updated:
Joshua Hurst

Solicitor, Abuse

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Local authority care is a place where vulnerable young people are looked after by adult staff members, such as a children’s home. Other examples or types of local authority care include residential schools and foster homes.

Just like schools, in local authority care, adults are tasked with looking after these vulnerable young children, but these situations are more serious than school, because these staff members are responsible for these young people’s wellbeing, living conditions and overall care. This means that these staff members have a massive amount of power and responsibility over the lives of young people living in their care.

Unfortunately, in some cases, staff members can abuse this power they hold over these children. When staff have such influence over vulnerable children and young people’s lives, it makes it far easier for these young people to be groomed, because they rely on staff for direction and wellbeing. It also means that things are less likely to be reported, because the young people may be afraid to speak out, in fear of losing their place in the care institution.

Sexual abuse cases can happen in local authority care, often at the hands of staff members and social workers.

Sexual abuse in care can have massive and long-lasting effects on the victims, and this kind of thing can be especially damaging to the mental health of young people who are already vulnerable.

If you’ve experienced abuse in local authority care – as with our case study below – we can help you claim the compensation you need to begin your journey towards healing.

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Our client was sexually abused in local authority care

Our Abuse Claims Solicitor who specialises in historic child abuse cases, was instructed to represent a man who was sexually abused as a child whilst in the care of a Local Authority.

Our client contacted us when he was 30 years old and told us he had been placed in the care of the Local Authority because he‘d been badly treated in his family home.

In the 1990s, he was sexually abused at the age of 11 by a trainee social worker whilst living at a children’s home. At age 15, he had made a complaint to the police, though it was unclear how far the investigation had gone.

Although the treatment received by the client from his parents was poor before going into the care of the Local Authority, the sexual abuse at the children’s home had a significant and damaging impact on him. Our client suffered Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD) and depression, self-harmed and attempted suicide.

He was also wary of males and avoided contact sports, gyms and swimming pools, as well as situations where there might be physical contact.

How we were able to help our client

This was a document heavy case, in which we obtained the client’s care records, and GP and hospital records. It was clear from the social care records that there had been 62 instances of prolonged contact between the client and the abuser.

Also noted within the care records was the significant concern by the Local Authority as to the abuser’s relationship with the client at the time. We obtained a medical report from a consultant psychiatrist who had a lot of experience in abuse cases. The psychiatrist read through all the client’s records and met with the client to discuss his history and what had happened whilst he was at the children’s home.

The psychiatrist produced a report setting out the history of the case, his opinion as to how the abuse had affected the client, a prognosis and recommended treatment. The psychiatrist’s report and all the client’s records then went to an experienced abuse Barrister, who produced written guidance advising on the claim in general and an opinion as to how much compensation the case was worth.

All the records and the report were sent to the Solicitor representing the Local Authority. The client made them an offer based on his Barrister’s opinion, but the offer wasn’t accepted. The Local Authority decided to obtain their own medical evidence and following receipt of this, a meeting was arranged between the client, his Barrister and the client’s medical expert to discuss the case in general and the defendant’s medical evidence.

What was the outcome of the abuse claim?

Neither side could reach an agreement on settling the case, so a meeting was arranged between the client’s Barrister, and the Solicitor and representatives of the Local Authority. After a day of negotiations, a figure was reached that the client was happy with, with the claim being settled for £50,000 compensation.

We advised the client to set up a personal injury trust fund, which would allow the client to hold his compensation and still receive state means tested benefits. This enabled the client to use his compensation as intended and not lose his entitlement to benefits.

Get in Touch

For more than 20 years, our Abuse Claims Solicitors have been helping abuse victims claim their legal rights. We offer a free confidential consultation and free legal advice for victims of abuse. Ask about Legal Aid or if we can deal with your case on No Win, No Fee basis.

If you’re a victim of historical sexual abuse whilst living in local authority care, our team of legal experts can provide thorough and in-depth advice and information when it comes to making a claim for compensation.


National Resource Center on Domestic Violence. (n.d.). Psychological Consequences of Sexual Trauma. VAWnet. https://vawnet.org/material/psychological-consequences-sexual-trauma

NHS. (n.d.). Help after rape and sexual assault. NHS. https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/sexual-health/help-after-rape-and-sexual-assault/

Verywell Mind. (n.d.). Symptoms of PTSD After a Rape. Verywell Mind. https://www.verywellmind.com/symptoms-of-ptsd-after-a-rape-2797203

Joshua Hurst

Solicitor, Abuse

Areas of Expertise:
Abuse Claims

Joshua works as a Solicitor in our Abuse Department, which operates under the leadership of Liam Goggin.

Joshua has been with Simpson Millar since 2019, where he started as a Paralegal in the Abuse Department, a role he stayed in for two years. His dedication and drive then led him to a position as a Trainee Solicitor, where he worked in the Industrial Disease and Military Claims Departments. His passion for representing victims of abuse made him return to the Abuse department, where he completed his training contract and began working as a Solicitor.

He takes immense pride in representing victims of abuse, deeply valuing the trust his clients place in him. Every day, he's reminded of the importance of listening attentively, acting in the clients' best interests, and guiding them through their challenging moments. Ever since he began his legal career, Joshua knew he wanted to help represent victims of abuse. It means a lot to him when clients trust him with their stories and cases. His main goal is to help his clients as much as he can, so they can start to heal and move on.

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