PA10. Criminal Injuries Compensation

For a record of all amendments and updates, see the Amendments & Archives.

Specific definitions of key concepts used by safeguarding practitioners are available through the Glossary.

1. Eligibility

Caption: Eligibility table


All children who are victims of offences of violence, committed within or outside the family, may be entitled to criminal injuries compensation, whether or not there has been a prosecution or conviction, including where there is no visible physical injury (e.g. sexual assault).

2. Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA)

Caption: Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA)


The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) has a duty to compensate fairly all those who suffer personal injuries directly attributable to a crime of violence (legal aid may be available to assist in submitting applications and deciding whether or not to accept awards).


Conditions CICA operates are:

  • There is a minimum award and the injury must be serious enough to award this minimum compensation payment;
  • The incident should have been reported to the police. CICA may withhold or reduce compensation if an applicant did not take, without delay, all reasonable steps to inform the police or another appropriate authority of the circumstances of the injury;
  • There is a two year limitation period on making a claim after the incident, unless CICA exercises its discretion to 'allow an application out of time' (in the case of child abuse, CICA may be sympathetic to applications no matter how long ago the incident occurred);
  • CICA is concerned always to make awards which take into account the best interests of the victim;
  • Where a child and the person causing the injuries are living in the same household (e.g. as members of the same family) at the time of the injuries, compensation will only be paid where the person responsible has been prosecuted (unless there are good reasons why not), and CICA is assured that the offender will not benefit from the award;
  • Following from this, CICA may appoint trustees to hold the compensation for the benefit of the child making such provisions for maintenance and education as necessary.

3. Conducting Claims by Children

Caption: Conducting Claims by Children

Looked after children


Where the local authority holds parental responsibility, local authority children's social care should help the child make the claim or should initiate the claim on the child's behalf. The form should be completed by the child's social worker and approved by the local authority children's social care manager.


The local authority's power to make a claim on behalf of a child is limited to children who are subject to a care order.


Where a child is looked after but the local authority does not have parental responsibility, the child's social worker should approach the person with parental responsibility, if it is appropriate to do so, and inform them of their right to make a claim for the child and assist them in doing so.


If this is inappropriate (e.g. because the person with parental responsibility caused the injuries, or is cohabiting with the person who did, or the person with parental responsibility does not initiate the claim), local authority children's social care should refer the child to a solicitor or to Victim Support.


A child who has been the subject of a child protection conference may be eligible to apply. Local authority children's social care should give the child and / or their parent/s advice and guidance about criminal injuries compensation.

Children not looked after


When a child is not looked after or where the offence did not give rise to a child protection conference, the police are responsible for advising the child and / or their parents that they can make a criminal injuries compensation claim.


Further information about CICA and an application form can be obtained from GOV.UK, or on 0800 358 3601 (freephone). Alternatively, write to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority, Tay House, 300 Bath Street, Glasgow G2 4LN.