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Change the law to make councils responsible for abuse by foster parents.

This petition had 132 supporters

'Angela's Law' is needed!

People who have been abused by foster parents in the past often struggle to get adequate compensation/restitution. Local authorities can theoretically be held responsible if negligence is proved, but that is notoriously difficult in abuse cases. Changing the law would therefore help survivors of abuse by allowing them to sue local authorities.

Restitution is important.  This means enabling survivors of abuse to get to where they could reasonably have been expected to be without having suffered the trauma of abuse.  This, in turn, means that they should receive appropriate therapy, as well as education to compensate for what they are likely to have missed and financial compensation for the earnings they are likely to have lost.  All of these things together may seem expensive, but the overall costs to society (social services, the NHS, the police and prisons, etc.) of not adequately addressing the needs of survivors are far greater, as many suffer repeated breakdowns and some, unable, to cope with mainstream society, fall by the wayside altogether and may abuse drugs and fall into crime.  Indeed, research suggests that many prisoners have been sexually abused as children, and if the effects of their abuse are not treated appropriately they are more likely to reoffend.  Taking these things into account (and not even mentioning the enormous and ongoing distress suffered by unhelped survivors and their families), it is likely that whatever the costs to authorities of paying adequate compensation and restitution, the overall costs to the taxpayer are likely to be significantly less than leaving these people to struggle on.

Also important, it would improve safeguarding and help prevent abuse in the future, because authorities would have to improve their levels of supervision. Such a legislative change would remove a perverse incentive for authorities to save money by removing children from care homes (where the authorities are responsible for the children's wellbeing) and placing them with foster parents without thorough vetting and monitoring.

A change in legislation to make authorities more responsible for the activities of independent contractors or volunteers might also encourage institutions such as hospitals and broadcasting organisations to be more vigilant, and so reduce the chances of a repeat of a scandal such as that associated with Jimmy Savile.

Please join Save Our Survivors, NAPAC and Angela Bayley, who was abused by her foster father, in calling for this change to the law.

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