Guidance for Making Applications for Criminal Injuries Compensation on Behalf of Children in Care


This chapter was updated in January 2020 to reflect local practice in Kent.

1. Introduction

The Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme

The Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme The Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme is a government funded scheme to compensate blameless victims of violent crime. The scheme is for people injured in England, Scotland and Wales (Great Britain). Northern Ireland has its own scheme, as do many other countries.

The rules of the scheme and the value of the payments are set by Parliament. Payments are calculated by reference to a tariff of injuries. The award can never fully compensate for all the injuries suffered but is recognition of public sympathy.

The Scheme (The Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme 2010) is made by the Secretary of State under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Act 1995.

The following payments are available under the Scheme:

  • Personal Injury following a single incident;
  • Personal Injury following a period of abuse;
  • Loss of earnings;
  • Special expenses payments – to cover specific injury-related requirements which are not available free of charge from any other source;
  • Fatal injuries, including loss of parental services and financial dependency;
  • Funeral payments.

If a child has been injured because of a period of physical or sexual abuse a claim for compensation can be made. All forms of Sexual Abuse and most forms of Physical Abuse of children are considered crimes of violence and therefore compensable under the scheme. Neglect and emotional abuse are not considered crimes of violence by the CICA and are therefore outside the scheme. However, an omission is considered a crime of violence if the omission could be described as violent in nature, by way of example (knowingly withholding something that another person needs to stay alive) and resulted in a physical injury. Kent has successfully achieved awards on appeal against the CICA's decision on this point. Appeal decisions are not binding on the CICA and each case should be looked at on its own merit. Legal advice should be taken before submitting an application for Neglect.

There is no specific requirement that someone should have been convicted of the offence, but the applicant should explain to the CICA why no prosecution occurred. Claims are assessed on the balance of probability. There may, therefore, be occasions when an alleged perpetrator is acquitted of an offence, and the applicant is awarded compensation on the lower level of proof.

Statutory Schemes place a duty on a Local Authority is to safeguard and promote the welfare of children in its care. By definition this includes the responsibility of facilitating applications to the CICA for children who have suffered injuries and where this is considered to be in the best interests of the child. Failure to make an application may result in a child being deprived of substantial compensation.

2. The Criteria for Making an Application

To assist the promotion of the interest of children in its care, the SCS Directorate facilitates the prompt processing of compensation applications. 

The Criteria for Making an Application Are:

  1. The Local Authority should have Parental Responsibility; or
  2. Where a child is accommodated and has suffered a criminal injury the Local Authority can make an application on the child's behalf. If you are applying on behalf of a child in these circumstances, you should complete the claim form, answering the questions as if you were the injured person. You will be asked to provide your details and proof of your relationship to the child. For example, corporate parent for an unaccompanied young person is supported under the Section 20 Children Act 1989.
  3. The applicant is the victim of a crime of violence, for example, a physical attack; any other act or omission of a violent nature which causes injury; a threat against a person; causing fear of immediate violence in circumstances which would cause a person to be put in such fear; a sexual assault; arson or fire-raising; Fatal injuries, if the Applicant child is the dependent and/or a close relative of a person who dies as a result of their injuries. To qualify for payment the Applicant child must have been dependent on the deceased for parental services.
  4. There should be some evidence of Police involvement, unless a reasonable explanation can be given to the CICA;
  5. There is the overriding objective that the perpetrator should not benefit from any compensation awarded. The Authority (CICA) will not provide a compensation award if the person who injured the Applicant could benefit from the award because there is a continuing close link between the victim and the assailant. In such circumstances the CICA may direct that a trust is set up to prevent as assailant benefitting from a payment; close liaison between Social Worker, Area Co-ordinator and the CICA can safeguard this.

3. Duty of Local Authority in Respect of Children Looked After

The local authority has a responsibility to safeguard the best interests of children in its care. This includes making an application for Criminal Injuries Compensation (CIC) where appropriate. Although any amount of money may not fully compensate the abuse suffered by a child or young person, an award of compensation may at least provide some financial security:

Children in Care who are approaching adulthood should receive advice and guidance on how the money can be put to good use as part of their Pathway Plan from 16 years onwards.

4. Procedure for Making an Application

  1. The question is asked at the first Child Protection case conference and subsequent Child Protection/Children in Care Reviews:
    Is this a case in which criminal injuries compensation should be claimed?”
  2. The Area Co-ordinator identifies children on interim and full Care Orders. The names of these children should be sent to the relevant social workers requesting them to confirm eligibility for compensation. A referral form and a copy of the Eligibility Criteria should be attached to each request;
  3. Where appropriate the allocated social worker should seek the views of the child as well as those of the parents. If there is any doubt about whether an individual case comes within the criteria, advice should be sought from the Area Co-ordinator;
  4. Where the Local Authority has identified a child or young person in care who may be eligible for compensation the Area Co-ordinator can facilitate a claim on behalf of the child. For those not in care the Area Co-ordinator may offer support to complete the application.

Applications should always be made promptly and in any event within two years after the date of the incident. However, where the applicant was under 18 at the time of the incident special provision is made regarding timescales as follows:

  • In the case of an incident reported to the police before the applicant' 18th birthday, within the period ending on their 20th birthday;
  • In the case of an incident reported to the police on or after the applicant's 18th birthday, within two years after the date of the first report to the police in respect of that incident.

All incidents must be reported to the police before a claim can be made to the CICA.

Reports to the police should be made as soon as is reasonably practicable.

Wherever possible the following reports should be sought:

  • Medical/psychological reports covering the first examination of the child, consequences of abuse, current position and prognosis. If a medical report already exists on the social work file which may be of use to the CICA then the permission from the author should be sought to share it with the CICA;
  • Headteachers written assessment if there are any behavioural or educational challenges presented by the child;
  • Any other reports considered helpful to the CICA.

If any of the above reports or statements were used in the Care Proceedings then the Area Co-ordinator should ensure that the Court making the Care Order has also given leave to disclose the papers to the CICA, otherwise an application to the Court for leave will need to be made.

Lawyers instructed by Kent should always be directed to seek leave of the court to disclose relevant reports submitted at the Final Care Hearing, in support of a Criminal Injuries Compensation application.

  1. The application can be made on-line or by telephone.
  2. Once all the information has been collated this should be submitted to the CICA at the earliest opportunity. This should include the following papers:
    1. A covering letter stating what evidence is being provided;
    2. Copy of care order if applicable;
    3. Police reports (if filed in care proceedings);
    4. Medical reports;
    5. School reports;
    6. Any other reports;
    7. Area Co-ordinator's report;
    8. Birth certificate, Adoption Order with new birth certificate, on in the case of unaccompanied minors in the UK, their Home Office Leave to Remain Document.

Receipt of the application is acknowledged and a CICA reference number is allocated. The Area Co-ordinator is advised by the CICA. Progress should be monitored by the Area Co-ordinator.

Further correspondence about the application once submitted should be made through, always quoting the reference number.

Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority
Alexander Bain House
Atlantic Quay
15 York Street
Glasgow G2 8JQ

5. Fatal Injury Claim Procedure

An application may be made for loss of a parent(s) as a result of a crime of violence. A Fatal Injury Form should be completed on-line. If the child also suffered injuries, a separate application for personal injury must be submitted at the same time. A qualifying child of a person who dies as a direct result of sustaining an injury may be eligible for:

  1. A bereavement payment.

Where the CICA is satisfied that multiple relatives are eligible for a bereavement payment in respect of the deceased, the amount of compensation will be £5,500. Otherwise the single qualifying relative payment is £11,000.

  1. A child's payments.

A child's payment may be made to a person who is a qualifying relative if that person was at the time of the death of the deceased under 18 years old and dependent on the deceased for parental services. The period to which a child's payment will relate begins on the day of the death and ends on the day before the child's 18th birthday. As at June 2019, the amount of a child's payment is (a) £2,000 for each year (pro rata for each part year) of the period to which the payment relates; and (b) such additional amount in relation to any expenses suffered by the child as a direct result of the loss of parental services as a claims officer considers reasonable.

  1. A dependency payment may be made to a qualifying child who at the time of the deceased death was financially or physically dependant on the deceased, the deceased was their main carer.

Maximum award made under the scheme in relation to a fatal criminal injury is £500,000

  1. Funeral Payments.
Where an applicant (child) has died as a direct result of sustaining a criminal injury a funeral payment may be made in respect of their funeral expenses for the benefit of their estate. KCC as corporate parent may be reimbursed for the cost of the applicant child's funeral expenses if appropriate.

6. Procedure of the CICA for Determining Awards

Assessments, Reviews and Appeal Hearings

1. The application will first be considered by the CICA Area team who will assess whether the applicant is entitled to compensation and the amount of the award. The assessment is passed to the Decision Maker for approval.
2. Please note, an award may be withheld or reduced on account of an applicant's character, as shown by his/her criminal convictions (excluding spent convictions). Mitigating circumstances can be presented by the Area co-ordinator to the Decision Maker and taken into account in certain circumstances. This will probably necessitate liaison with the CIC Team and the Youth Offender Service. However, no award will be made if there is a conviction resulting in a custodial sentence, community or rehabilitation order.
3 The CICA Area Team will notify the Area Co-ordinator of the decision in writing. A decision will be made on whether to accept the decision or seek to request a Review. If a Review is to be persued the request must be sent to the CICA within the required time limit. This will be set out in the relevant decision letter. The request for Review must be signed by the Area Co-ordinator. When requesting a Review the Area Co-ordinator may ask for a copy of the TB1, which is the information supplied to the CICA by the Police. The Review will be conducted by a Senior Claims Officer and the Area Co-ordinator will be notified in writing of the outcome. If the outcome is not the desired outcome the appeal against the Review outcome must be lodged within the required time limit. If the outcome of the Review is accepted the acceptance must be notified to the CICA within the required time limit. Any decision to appeal the outcome of the Review must be in consultation with Legal Services.
4a If the award is considered appropriate, the acceptance form is signed by the named Director and the Applicant if aged 12+. The form is then returned to the CICA within the required time limit as stated in the decision letter. The CICA will retain the award and invest it on behalf of the young person until 18 years of age. See Section 7, Investment Administration of Awards.
4b If the decision of the CICA Review is not accepted, the Area Co-ordinator may progress an Appeal to the First Tier Tribunal. I terms of process, application of the appeal requires prior agreement of the Services Manager (for funding) and should be recorded on Liberi by the Manager. The completed Appeal Application form needs to be signed by the named Director. If the Appeal Hearing is granted, a copy of the Hearing Bundle should be forwarded to Legal Services. The Area Co-ordinator should liaise with Legal Services and may attend the hearing if appropriate. Ordinarally young people aged 16 and over are expected to attend the Hearing (if appropriate). Support at the hearing should be arranged for them.

The Appeal Hearing may be an oral hearing before the First Tier Tribunals Service. The Tribunals Panel is an independent panel made up of three members, the Chairperson being a Senior Lawyer. The members and staff of the Tribunals Panel are entirely independent of the CICA. Their address is:

Tribunals Service
Wellington House
134-136 Wellington Street
Glasgow G2 2XL
(Tel: 0141 354 8555)

7. Investment Administration of Awards

  1. Once the final decision is reached, the award is retained by CICA and invested and administered on behalf of, and for the sole benefit of the child;
  2. It is expected that the award will be invested on behalf of the child until the age of 18. However, there may be circumstances whereby an advance could be made from the award but should only be used for the child's 'advancement, education or other benefits';
  3. A case note flagged as a Significant Event should be made on Liberi recording that the money is held on the child's behalf by CICA;
  4. An up-to-date record of the child/young person's address should be kept on file and Liberi;
  5. The award should be discussed with the young person as part of their Pathway Planning;
  6. The role of Finance for awards made before November 2008 is held by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Co-ordinator, Virtual School Kent

8. Application for Advance of Funds from the CICA

When the CICA have invested an award on behalf of a Child in Care notification is sent to the Area Co-ordinator. Forms are enclosed with this letter:

  • Advance Application Form;
  • Consideration of Advances & Evidence Required.

Steps taken for an advance of monies is as follows:

  • Request is made in writing to the Area Co-ordinator:
    • By Social Worker if Young person is under 12 years old;
    • By Young Person if 12 years or over, endorsed by Social Worker and/or Team Leader;
    • Both CICA forms are sent to Social Worker to complete and obtain the Young Person's signature if applicable. The forms are then returned to the Area Co-ordinator, along with evidence required (estimate/quote);
    • The Area Co-ordinator sends the forms and supporting evidence to the named Director for his/her agreement and signature which are then returned to the Area Co-ordinator;
    • The forms are sent to the CICA for consideration;
    • If the CICA agree the application an Acceptance form in the Director's name will be sent to the Area Co-ordinator along with a Bank Details form and a Receipt Details form;
    • The Acceptance form and Bank Details form are completed and signed by the named Director and the Young Person, if applicable and returned to the Area Co-ordinator;
    • The Area Co-ordinator returns the signed forms to the CICA;
    • The advance of money is transferred to the specified bank account by BACS transfer;
    • Receipts are obtained and sent to the CICA on the Receipt Details form provided.

9. Procedure for Approving an Advance of Money from Funds Held by KCC under Criminal Injuries Compensation Schemes 1996 - 2008

CAPTION: Procedure for Approving an Advance of Money from Funds Held by KCC under Criminal Injuries Compensation Schemes 1996 - 2008
1. Until November 2008 awards for compensation under the above schemes were held by Kent County Council and invested as approved by the named Director. Since November 2008 all awards for minors are retained and invested by the CICA.

Following a review of financial procedures, KCC took the decision in 2012 to return to the CICA all awards for children/young people whose birthdays fell after 01.07.1995 for the CICA to administer in line with their current procedures;
2. For a young person under 18 years old whose award is still retained by KCC, the social worker shall be the person responsible for initiating an application for an advancement of money. The request should be discussed with the young person to ensure the money is used in an appropriate way;
3. The Social Worker and their supervisor or other SCS manager should agree any advancement;
4. Any request for an advance for medical treatment should be supported by a medical statement that treatment is required and should state whether or not the treatment is available from the National Health Service which should be funded by statutory provision;
5. A copy of the application and a minute of the decision shall be attached to the child's file held by the Area Co-ordinator;
6. Once approved, a request for an advancement of money should be sent to the Area Co-ordinator for payment.
7. Guiding Principles
  a. Those considering whether an advance of money should be made shall consider whether it would be better to allow the capital to accumulate. KCC has a duty to be accountable to the young person as the custodian of the money.
  b. Any advance should be for the sole benefit of the child/young person. It needs to be borne in mind that the young person may have returned to live with the assailant.
  c. No money should ordinarily be applied for in respect of day to day maintenance of the child who is being looked after by the Local Authority.
  d. Examples of how an advance might be spent if not funded by KCC:
    i. School trips - confirmation required from school and advice re additional spending money required for the trip;
    ii. Guide/Scout/Cadet trips - confirmation required from relevant organization of destination and cost of trip;
    iii. Computer and Accessories - quote required from reputable dealer and letter from school or college supporting request;
    iv. Purchase of items necessary for college - Documentation required from college confirming items required for course. Additional quote may be required for cameras, computer etc;
    v. Driving lessons for minors aged 17 - quote from reputable driving school for a maximum of 20 lessons per advance plus copy of provisional driving licence;
    vi. Purchase of car for minors aged 17 - Copy of full driving licence and quote from reputable dealer;
    vii. First month's rent plus deposit on flat/accommodation for minor aged 16+ living independently, if not funded by 16 Plus - Copy of tenancy agreement and quote from the landlord;
    viii. Purchase of baby equipment for minors who have had a baby - Quotes required for major purchases e.g. pram/pushchair;
    ix. Equipment to assist minors with disabilities, if not funded by KCC/Health - quote required for equipment.
  e. Those considering the request for money should have regard to the individual child's age and development and whether the proposed financial advance would, in all circumstances, benefit the child.
8. The young person shall be entitled to all the monies held for them by the Council on attaining the age of 18 years.

10. Application for Advance of Funds Held in Trust Funds by KCC for Children and Young People

Trusts Funds are currently held by KCC and the awards are placed in named accounts with the Bank of Scotland.

Steps taken for an advance of monies is as follows:

  1. Request is made in writing to the Area Co-ordinator by the Social Worker if young person is under 12 years old or by the young Person if 12 years or over. The request MUST be endorsed by Social Worker and Team Manager.
  2. The Area Co-ordinator forwards the request to the Finance Officer to process.
    1. A cheque is drawn from the KCC – Social Services Cheque Book Account and a letter requesting transfer of funds from the young Person's account to the KCC Account, addressed to the Bank of Scotland, is completed. Both are signed by two approved signatories and returned to the Finance Officer;
    2. The letter posted to the Bank of Scotland requesting transfer of funds;
    3. Once transfer of funds is confirmed the cheque is sent to the young person with a covering letter.

Appendix 1: Guidelines for Area Criminal Injuries Compensation Co-ordinator's Report to the CICA

These guidelines are designed to assist in producing as full a report as possible in order that the CICA can make an early and informed decision. It will help if the report is typed in double-spacing, with numbered paragraphs. If a young person chooses to attend an Appeal hearing they should have the opportunity to read all the documents in the Appeal Bundle.

  1. Name, age, date of birth of child/young person;
  2. Family details and history of child;
  3. Circumstances at time of injury;
  4. Action taken;
  5. Prosecution;
  6. Reports attached;
  7. Future plans, including prospect of being reunited with offender.

Appendix 2: Checklist for Processing Claims

Click here to view Appendix 2: Checklist for Processing Claims.

Appendix 3: Standard letter for School Report

Click here to view Appendix 3: Standard letter for School Report.

Appendix 4: Standard letter for Medical Report

Click here to view Appendix 4: Standard letter for Medical Report.

Appendix 5: EU Criminal Injuries Compensation Schemes

UK residents who are injured as a result of a crime of violence in a member country of the European Union can apply for compensation from that country with the help of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority in Glasgow. They can also supply information about the member states schemes.

The EU Compensation Assistance Team (EUCAT) is based in Glasgow. They have produced a leaflet “Applying for Criminal Injury Compensation in other EU Countries” and can be contacted via the CICA's usual number - 0300 003 3601 or email

Asylum seeking children may seek Criminal Injuries Compensation whilst resident within the UK. N.B. Birth certificates not necessarily required, but EUCAT need to know the 'deemed date of birth'.