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Making historic abuse claims

Making a claim

Who can make a claim?

Usually, it is the person who has been directly affected by the abuse who makes the claim.

You are eligible to make a historic abuse claim to the Ministry of Social Development if:

  • you were in the care or custody of either the Child Welfare Division, the Department of Welfare or Child, Youth or Family, and
  • you were in their care or custody before 2008, and
  • you believe you suffered abuse or neglect while you were in their care or custody, and
  • you believe that you suffered harm because of it, and
  • you are not personally a current client of Oranga Tamariki.

You are eligible to make a historic abuse claim to the Ministry of Education if:

  • you attended a Residential Special School run by the old Department of Education, and
  • you believe you suffered abuse or neglect while you were in their care, and
  • you believe that you suffered harm because of it, and
  • the mistreatment happened before 1989.

If you have suffered abuse or neglect in the care or custody after 2008 in the care of Oranga Tamariki, there is a different claims process that you can follow. For more information about this, see a lawyer about this, or contact your local Community Law Centre.

Proving you were in “state care”

For all historic abuse claims, you will have to prove that you were in “state care” at the time of the abuse. State care includes (but is not limited to):

  • foster care
  • living with your own family under the supervision of the Department of Social Welfare
  • ‘special schools’ for learning or behavioural difficulties
  • health camps under Stand Children’s Services
  • in a children’s home
  • in psychiatric care
  • in transport between care facilities
  • in any disability care or facility.
Next Section | How to make a claim
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