Child Abuse Claims Against Social Services

Social services are responsible for the care and well-being of the most vulnerable children in our society, and thankfully in the majority of cases, the carers appointed by a local authority have a positive impact on a young person’s life.

Sadly, things do sometimes go drastically wrong though, leaving children to suffer abuse, mistreatment or neglect that was wholly avoidable.

In some instances, no preventative measures are taken even though potential risks have been clearly identified. In others there is a failure to intervene and protect.

We can represent both children and adults who have suffered due to social services failing to provide adequate care or take reasonable steps which might have prevented abuse from happening.

Whilst we understand that no amount of compensation can heal what has happened in the past, pursuing legal action can allow you to access therapy or counselling to help you better cope in the future.

If a local authority failed to manage your family circumstances appropriately and you suffered child abuse as a result, or if a loved one is a survivor of this type of abuse, Hudgell Solicitors may be able to bring a claim against social services for negligence.

We can help you claim compensation for your pain and suffering, loss of earnings or to fund any past or future care requirements, medication, therapy or counselling that may be required.

Any settlement will also take into account the physical, emotional and psychological pain you have endured.

Your health and well-being is of paramount importance to us and we promise to handle your case in a caring and sensitive manner, through what can often be an emotional experience.

Don’t suffer in silence, share your burden and get in touch with an experienced solicitor who specialises in claims against social services. All enquiries are completely confidential and your initial consultation is free.


Our experts

Malcolm Johnson

Senior Solicitor

Steven Walster


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Why can I sue social services for negligence?

In many claims against social services, a case is brought in respect of a local authority failing to fulfil its responsibilities by not ensuring the service which should have been preventing the abuse was doing so.

In such cases of child abuse involving social services, we try to establish whether the local authority or its departments failed to:

  • Listen to disclosures of abuse made by a child and deal with them appropriately
  • Respond adequately to referrals from schools, health visitors and other medical professionals
  • Spot the signs of abuse and neglect from the child’s appearance and behaviour
  • Properly care for or supervise children in their care

If the proper procedures were not followed to check the suitability of any potential carer, and a child suffered abuse or harm as a result, it is possible to claim for negligence by social services.

Whether the abuse took place inside the family home or within the care system itself, we can act on behalf of children and adults who have suffered due to the failings of social services.

Our child abuse solicitors can bring cases against individual social workers, foster carers, care homes, children’s homes and local authorities.

Cases can also be pursued when the abuse was committed by siblings, parents, relatives, visitors to a family home or by a person in a position of authority.

If you believe a local authority failed in its duty of care towards you, please get in touch to discuss your case for free and in confidence.

How long do I have to make a claim?

The time limits for these kinds of claims can be very strict indeed. Even if you are a child or disabled, or you are helping a child or a disabled person bring a claim, you need to contact us as soon as possible so that we can advise you on how to protect your claim. Don’t delay.

The law on this issue, and the time limits in which to make a claim, is far from settled. Even if the events occurred several years or decades ago, our child abuse lawyers may still be able to help you.

All non-recent abuse claims are judged on their own merits by the courts and we would encourage anyone who suffered abuse during childhood to come forward whenever they are comfortable doing so.

What funding options are available?

At Hudgell Solicitors, many of our claims against social services are funded on a ‘No win, no fee’ basis – so you can pursue justice without any financial risks to you.

With offices in Hull, Leeds and London, we have a team of experienced solicitors who take on social services anywhere in England and Wales – and we can visit you wherever you’ll feel most comfortable.

As long as you provide us with honest and accurate instructions – and fully cooperate to help us win, you’ll only pay an agreed percentage of any damages received – whatever the outcome of your case.

In some circumstances, legal aid might be available. Should we take on your case, we will explain all the options and outline the best way to fund your claim.

For free and confidential advice from a solicitor that specialises in suing social services for negligence, please get in touch today.

Our experts

Malcolm Johnson

Senior Solicitor

Renu Daly

Solicitor, Clinical Negligence