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It has recently come to light that the ‘cover up culture’ of Lambeth Council has led to more than 700 children in South London suffering cruelty and sexual abuse.
An Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) strongly criticised Lambeth Council for allowing abuse in 5 different care homes from 1960s to the 1990s. The enquiry found that abusers were able to infiltrate homes and the foster system. The inquiry into the council was held in 2020 and investigated 5 homes – Angell Road, South Vale Assessment Centre, the Shirley Oaks complex, Ivy House and Monkton Street.
The report stated that 705 complaints were made by former residents across the facilities and only one member of staff was disciplined by the council. At Shirley Oaks, a care home that closed in 1983, the council received allegations of abuse against 177 members of staff involving 529 former residents. Further to this, the IICSA is calling on the Metropolitan Police to consider a criminal investigation into why allegations of sexual abuse made by a male child resident, later found dead at the Shirley Oaks care home, were not passed on to the coroner by the council.
The inquiry further stated the care home, Angell Road, ‘systematically exposed children, including those under five years, to sexual abuse’. Shockingly, children spent time with ‘social aunts’ or social uncles, who were volunteers that worked with children without proper vetting and verification. Six men have been convicted in connection with the abuse in Lambeth council since the 1990s.
The report has provided the council with a number of recommendations to prevent further incidents of abuse, including improving staff training, recruitment and vetting. The councilhas paid £71.5 million in compensation to former residents of the children’s homes, with individual payments of up to £125,000. It will be interesting to see going forward whether other Local Authorities implement the suggestions put forward by the inquiry and what other preventative measures can be created to protect children who reside within the social care system.
If you have suffered sexual abuse, our experienced abuse team headed by Natalie Marrison are here to help. For a confidential discussion, please contact the Ramsdens Abuse team on 0113 887 1834 or email Natalie.email@example.com.