Allegations of Physical Abuse against Foster Carers

December 20, 2016

Foster carers play an incredibly important role in society in that they make themselves available to look after a child who, for one reason or another, is unable to live with their parents. The role that they perform, while worthy of great admiration and respect, also places them in a particularly vulnerable position. Foster carers are incredibly susceptible to allegations for having inflicted physical abuse on a child in their care. The risk of such an allegation being made is particularly high in the context of fostering, either from a child themselves against their foster carers in respect of their treatment e.g. their interpretation of a foster carers actions or words, or from another family member of the child who disagrees with the fostering arrangement.

Regardless as to the situations that bring about allegations of physical abuse, the reality is that foster carers are in a very difficult position in terms of dealing with allegations of physical abuse. In practice, there is very little that can be done to reduce the risk of such an allegation being made. However, in the event that such an allegation is made, it is vital that foster carers consult with experienced defence lawyers who understand the role of foster carers and the special circumstances of their situation. At Tuckers we have developed a niche practice of defending clients that have been accused of having committed physical abuse against children in their care. We fully understand the impact that such an allegation can have on people, and their need for objective, effective legal advice from specialist defence solicitors. If you are a foster carer and have been made the subject of allegations of physically abusing a child in your care, our team could help you.

The role of foster carers and the delicate nature of their position

Foster carers open their homes to children who need care and attention from others, as their own parents are unable to provide this. The role of foster carers requires that they set appropriate boundaries for those children in their care, providing and ensuring that their welfare is protected while also teaching them respect for others and how to behave as they grow and develop. It is this vital role that foster carers perform that means they can be vulnerable to allegations of physical abuse.


Foster carers, as with all others with children in their care, must observe the law in respect of their interaction with them. In the context of teaching children to behave and to respect boundaries, this can be incredibly challenging. The law in respect of the punishment of children has been the subject of reform, and is often misunderstood. The result is that foster carers, in attempting to raise a child may misunderstand the limits on their ability to police a child’s behaviour. Equally, foster children – and their extended families – may misunderstand how the law works in respect of their being raised. However, it is equally possible that a child or extended family member makes such an allegation with no supporting evidence but only the intent to change their circumstances. Regardless as to the situation that results in an allegation for physical abuse being made, the authorities will respond quickly and purposefully: the police and prosecutors will be seeking any evidence of physical abuse, and may overlook certain key issues or a lack of supporting evidence to justify such a claim.


The intention of the police and the courts in dealing with allegations of physical abuse is always to protect the interests of children. However, this can often result in the prosecution failing to understand the niceties of the situation.  This is why it is vital that an effective legal defence team is put in place who are able to conduct a full investigation of the situation and test the weight of a prosecutor’s case.


Instruct specialist defence lawyers who understand your position

An allegation for having committed physical abuse against a child is a serious one, and can cause a great deal of emotional turmoil for the accused and their families. The impact of such an accusation is often underestimated. Also, the consequences of being found guilty for having committed physical abuse against a child are significant: there may be a period of imprisonment which, taken together with a conviction, could have disastrous costs for those that hope to continue to offer a home for children in need in the future. This is why it is vital that those accused of having committed such a crime are represented by lawyers that appreciate the reality facing them, and who understand how to construct a comprehensive defence to such allegations.


Contact Tuckers Solicitors – Expert Foster Carer Defence

Tuckers Solicitors is a leading criminal defence law firm, providing specialist services to foster carers accused of physically abusing children in their care. At Tuckers Solicitors, we have a long history of working with clients who need to deal with the potentially severe consequences of being found guilty of having committed physical abuse against children. We take a robust approach to such allegations, and will represent our clients interest in all interactions with both the police and the courts in defending against such claims. If you have been accused of abusing a child in your care, contact our team today. We will review the entirety of your case, and conduct a forensic review of your situation: our specialist team have insight into the supporting documents that will be needed to support an abuse claim, and have routinely challenged their basis on a lack of information or weaknesses in their construction. We will also conduct detailed investigations into your situation, liaising with potential witnesses and making the necessary disclosure applications to build a strong defence of your interests. Our experience also affords us insight into the important role played by third parties in defending against allegations of physical abuse e.g. social workers etc., and we regularly call upon their knowledge and expertise to contribute to the defence of our clients. contact our team today to learn more.