Farleys’ specialist abuse team brought a claim for Client J against his Local Authority for their failure to intervene properly to protect him during his childhood.


Client J had an unfortunate history. Both of his parents had substance abuse problems and he suffered neglect as a child. He was not fed properly and was frequently left alone, sometimes for lengthy periods of time.

However, delays in the Local Authority taking action to remove Client J from his parents’ care meant that he continued to suffer this neglect until he was 4 years old.

Eventually, Client J was put under a care order and was placed in foster care by the Local Authority. While in foster care, he was sexually abused by one of the older children of his foster carers from the age of just 4 years old.

Client J was then moved into the care of a prospective adoptive family. However, due once again to delayed action by the Local Authority, they eventually decided not to adopt Client J.

When Client J was a teenager, he experienced lowness of mood. He engaged in self-harm in several ways, including cutting his wrists, taking many paracetamols and putting ropes around his neck. While he never wanted to kill himself, this was as a means of release from the way he was feeling as a result of the trauma he had experienced.

As a young adult, Client J suffers from anxiety which often results in physical side effects. These side effects can be so severe that they are at times debilitating for him. He finds that he still thinks about the abuse, especially when triggers such as television scenes remind him of his own experiences.

How Farleys were able to help

It was argued that if Client J had been removed from his parents’ care earlier and if his care had been better managed by the Local Authority, he could have been adopted and could have lived a much more settled life. He could have avoided the trauma caused by his first foster placement and failed adoptive placement.

Farleys’ abuse team instructed a specialist consultant forensic psychiatrist to ascertain how Client J had suffered psychologically as a result of the local authority’s failings. The psychiatrist was also asked to comment on the nature, duration and costs of treatment which would likely be necessary.

The Local Authority accepted that Client J should have been removed from his parents’ care one year earlier and that he should not have been allowed to share a room with a much older boy in foster care. They accepted that had his care been better managed, Client J could have lived a far more settled life and could have avoided some of the trauma that he ended up experiencing.

A joint settlement meeting was held and a settlement was agreed in the sum of £95,000.

Contact us confidentially

If you have suffered abuse as a result of negligence of a Local Authority, you may be entitled to make a claim. To have a confidential discussion regarding your experiences, contact Farleys’ specialist abuse team on 0330 134 6430, by email, or speak to us on our online chat below.