Former children's home residents sexually abused by a Salvation Army captain entrusted with their care are planning what to do next after the man was found guilty of more than 20 rape and indecency charges.

The Salvation Army has already paid out to some of the victims of John Francis Gainsford, 69, who was found guilty in the High Court in Timaru on Friday of three charges of rape and 18 sexual indecency charges on top of four he had pleaded guilty to at the start of his two-week trial.

The charges stem from events at the Bramwell Booth Children's Home in Temuka in the 1970s where Gainsford was a captain with the Salvation Army.

He was acquitted on one indecency charge.

The Salvation Army says it has reached confidential compensation agreements with some of Gainsford's victims but others are considering their position in light of the guilty verdicts.

One victim told National Radio she would be getting together with other former residents of the home to plan what action to take.

She said justice had been done against Gainsford but the Salvation Army was also culpable, failing in its duty to protect the children and ignoring their complaints of his sexual abuse.

Salvation Army spokesman Major Ross Gower said times had changed since the incidents in the 1970s.

"There is a new awareness that sadly these issues are there and we just have to make sure that for the residents we have in our care we have to do everything we possibly can to ensure that they are safe and well-handled," he said.

"We have looked very closely at our procedures and now have different procedures, not only screening processes for people coming in but also accountability procedures while they are working for us."

Bramwell Booth in Temuka was now home to "psychiatrically challenged" people.

Mr Gower said the Salvation Army deeply regretted what had happened.

"We are very disappointed that people of trust have misused that trust," he said.

"We feel sorry for the complainants who have had to go through horrendous issues."

The Salvation Army would have to wait and see what kind of action victims brought but some had already been paid money.

"There have been some that have asked for compensation and we've been able to reach an amicable agreement."

Mr Gower would not say how many complainants were involved or how much they had been paid.

"We have said in our discussions with the complainants we will not divulge the details of those conversations."

The Salvation Army is not alone in running into trouble over alleged abuse at its former children's homes, and has already paid out compensation to former residents of homes in Wairarapa and Waikato.

In March the St John of God Catholic order said it had paid about $5.1 million to boys complaining of sexual abuse at Christchurch's Marylands home in the 1970s.

Activities at Anglican homes and government homes in Levin, Lower Hutt, Wairarapa, Wellington and Otago have also been called into question.

- NZPA