Natasha Armes who was abused by her foster parents has won a landmark Court case which will have far reaching implications for Local Authorities/Councils.
The Supreme Court ruling will have a significant impact for all Local Authorities across the United Kingdom, meaning that Councils responsible for vetting foster parents can now be held responsible for abuse, both historical and in the future.
Ms Armes who is now 40 years of age was placed in the care of Nottinghamshire County Council during the 1980s. She was under the care of two sets of foster parents, referred to by the Supreme Court as Mr & Mrs A and Mr & Mrs B, between March 1985 and February 1988.
During her time with foster parents Ms Armes was physically abused by Mrs A and sexually abused by Mr B.
Representatives for Ms Armes following the case commented:
“It is has been a life long struggle for her, not just as a victim, but then going through an eight year Court battle to get that recognised. It is very good news for foster children who are abused and it is good for foster parents generally because it means that there is a clarity on where they stand”
Ceri-Sian Williams from Browne Jacobson acted on behalf of the Council and said that the impact of the ruling “cannot be understated”. She said that the precedent set by the Supreme Court meant that Councils were now liable for any abuse committed by foster carers, historically or in the future.
Colin Pettigrew, Corporate Director for Children and Families at Nottinghamshire County Council said:
“It is dreadful when a child in our care is abused, as our priority is always their safety and wellbeing.
Abuse of children is never acceptable when it occurs and we fully support that the perpetrators of abuse should be brought to justice and held to account and that the victims and survivors of abuse are supported.
Ms Armes should have been safe in the care of her foster carers 30 years ago and she wasn’t. That is a matter of huge regret to us.
If you or someone you know has been the victim of abuse at the hands of foster parents, we understand that it may be difficult to talk about what has happened. However, our team here at Farleys is extremely experienced and will speak to you in the strictest of confidence on 0330 134 6403. If you do not feel able to talk about what happen, we can be contacted through our online enquiry form.