Estimating Compensation for Children in Care Data Breach Claims

If you’ve been affected by a children in care data breach, you might be entitled to compensation. In this guide, we explain what a data breach is and what could happen if your personal information is exposed in a way that causes you harm. 

Data breaches do not just occur in the digital world. Personal data breaches could occur due to careless handling of hardcopies, such as paper files. We also explore how breaches could happen. 

Children in care data breach

Children in care data breach compensation guide

Using a solicitor could make the claims process seem easier. A solicitor could help gather the evidence needed to support your claim and arrange for any medical assessments you might need (if you are claiming non-material damages).

However, the costs of hiring legal representation by paying upfront or ongoing fees could be off-putting. We look at how a No Win No Fee arrangement could help you fund legal representation. 

If you’re wondering “can I claim compensation for a children in care data breach?”, you can get in touch with our advisors for free legal advice. 

To get in touch:

Choose A Section

  1. Children in Care Data Breach – Can You Make a Claim?
  2. What Are Data Breaches Involving Children? 
  3. Possible Data Breaches Involving Children In Care
  4. Children in Care Data Breach Compensation Payouts
  5. No Win No Fee Children in Care Data Breach Claims
  6. Further Guidance About Data Breaches Involving Children

Children in Care Data Breach – Can You Make a Claim?

The UK General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) was enacted into UK law when the UK left the EU. It now sits alongside an updated version of the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA). These are the laws that govern data protection in the UK. 

You can only claim if a data breach has caused you harm; this harm can either be material (meaning you lost money) or non-material damages (which relate to the psychosocial impact of the breach.

Furthermore, you can only claim if the breach happened as a result of wrongful conduct on the part of the organisation that was processing your data. If they did all they could to protect this information but a breach occurred anyway, this would not be grounds for a claim.

A children in care data breach could lead to distress and other mental health issues. For example, if information relating to their address was exposed in a breach, and they had relatives who should not know this information, then this could pose a risk to their safety. Furthermore, 

You may be able to claim data breach compensation. Contact our advisors if you’ve experienced a children’s services data breach. 

 What Are Data Breaches Involving Children? 

A data breach is defined as a security incident which has an impact on the availability, integrity and confidentiality of personal data. Breaches can impact data that is stored physically (for example, files that are stored in a filing cabinet) as well as information that is stored on a computer or online. 

Personal data is information that can be used to identify you. This can be information that can identify you in isolation, as well as data that can identify you when combined with other information. 

Certain data, such as that relating to medical conditions or sexual orientation, are classed as special category data. They require more protection because of their sensitive nature.

Data breaches involving children could include:

  • A children in care data breach
  • A childcare data breach
  • A children’s hospital data breach

 Our advisors can discuss how to deal with a GDPR data breach. If you have a valid claim, you could be connected with 

Possible Data Breaches Involving Children In Care

Data breaches can be caused by a number of different factors. How the data breach occurred is important in determining whether you have a valid claim. This is because, as we’ve mentioned, you can only claim for a breach that was caused by the failings of the party processing your data.

Possible causes of data breaches could include:

  • Email or postal mail sent to the wrong person, where this person does not have the authority to view the information
  • Failing to redact sensitive information before sending out a document to a department
  • Lost or stolen paperwork, or lost or stolen digital storage devices, such as an unencrypted memory stick being left on public transport 
  • Incorrect disposal, such as not disposing of paperwork in a way that prevents a breach from occurring (for example, putting paperwork containing personal data in the bin instead of shredding it)

Our advisors can discuss your potential data breach payout and what evidence you could submit to strengthen your claim.  If you have any more questions about what to do after a children in care data breach, speak with our team. 

Data Breach ICO Figures

Data security incident trends are collected by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). It collects information on breaches that occur in different sectors. 

In the fourth quarter of the 2021/22 financial year, the following incidents were reported to the ICO as having occurred in local government:

  • 42 occasions of data being emailed to the wrong recipient 
  • 33 incidents of posting or faxing the incorrect person
  • 1 occasion when paperwork was disposed of incorrectly

Children in Care Data Breach Compensation Payouts

If you’ve experienced a children in care data breach you might want to know how much compensation your claim could be worth. Since the Court of Appeal case Vidal-Hall vs Google, there’s no requirement for you to have suffered financial harm to claim for the emotional impact of the breach. You can claim for material and non-material damages separately as well as together. 

What this means is that you could claim for your emotional distress, even if you experienced no further harm due to the breach. We’ve broken down what you could potentially claim for in the sections below. 

To discuss your potential payout for a data breach, contact our advisors. 

What Goes Into Material Damage?

The head of your claim that relates to financial losses due to your children in care data breach is called material damages. Experiencing a data breach could result in practical harm to your life, such as impacting your employment prospects. 

You could claim for: 

  • Stolen money. If your bank account was hacked as a result of the breach and you lost money, you could claim this back. 
  • Loss earnings/loss of future earnings. If the data breach caused you psychological harm that stopped you from working, then you could be compensated for this. 
  • Credit score. Your credit score could be negatively impacted if your identity is stolen. This could damage your credit score. 

Non-material damages

If you experience emotional distress, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), as a result of a data breach, you might be able to claim for non-material damages. As part of your claim, you might be invited to an independent medical assessment. This is to gain a fuller understanding of your mental injuries and what impact they have on your life. 

We’ve decided to include the table below in lieu of a data breach compensation calculator. We’ve included figures from the 16th edition of the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG), released in April 2022. Legal professionals use the JCG to help assign value to injuries. Potential compensation brackets are listed next to their corresponding injuries. 

InjuryPotential CompensationNotes
Severe PTSD£59,860 to £100,670Permanent inability to function at pre-trauma levels in all areas of life.
Severe psychological damage£54,830 to £115,730Inability to cope with life and personal relationships.
Moderately severe PTSD£23,150 to £59,860Significant inability to function at pre-trauma level, however, some recovery with professional help is possible.
Moderately severe psychological damage£19,070 to £54,830Significant problems coping with life in general and problems in personal relationships. However, the prognosis is optimistic.
Moderate PTSD£8,180 to £23,150Continuing impact that is not grossly disabling
Moderate psychological damage£5,860 to £19,070Ability to cope with life and relationships improves by trial with a good prognosis.
Less severe PTSD£3,950 to £8,180Nearly a full recovery with only minor symptoms beyond one to two years.
Less severe psychological damage£1,540 to £5,860Daily activities and sleep are impacted. The award amount considers duration and extent of difficulties.

No Win No Fee Children in Care Data Breach Claims

You might recognise the advantages of using a data breach solicitor to claim, but be put off by the prospect of paying them upfront or as the claim goes on. This could result in you being financially worse off than before the claim, as you’d be expected to pay them without any guarantee of compensation at the end.

Under a No Win No Fee arrangement you won’t pay an upfront solicitors fee. A popular form of this kind of agreement is a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA).

Solicitors that work on this basis do not take a fee upfront or as they work on the claim. Instead, if your claim is successful, it will be subject to a legally capped success fee. In addition to this, you won’t pay for your lawyer’s services if your claim isn’t successful.

Ask About Children In Care Data Breach Claims

Free legal advice is available from our advisors 24 hours per day, seven days a week. Starting a data breach claim may seem like a daunting prospect, but our advisors are here to help you.

They could advise on whether you have a potential claim. In addition, they could suggest what evidence you could use to strengthen your case. 

If your data breach claim seems valid, it might be passed onto our panel of solicitors. Our solicitors can represent you on a No Win No Fee basis. 

To get in touch:

 Further Guidance About Data Breaches Involving Children

And some more of our data breach guides:

For free legal advice on claiming after a children in care data breach, get in touch with our team.

Writer Danielle Bing

Publisher Fern Stump