Lambeth Council Fostering Services
Lambeth children's social service, including their fostering department has recent been graded as inadequate. This is the lowest rating given by Ofsted.
Brief Description: Lambeth Fostering Services
Address: International House, 6 Canterbury Crescent, London, SW9 7QE :
"Children’s services in Lambeth are inadequate because: Leadership and management
A failure of leadership has resulted in the deterioration of almost all safeguarding services and services for looked after children and their families in Lambeth from when they were last inspected by Ofsted in 2012.
Performance information is poor or not available. Leaders and managers at all levels do not have the information that they need to manage or oversee practice effectively.
Significant changes in management and social work staff at all levels in recent years have resulted in a lack of continuity, poor engagement with some service users and reduced standards of social work provision and management oversight.
From the latter part of 2014, leaders and managers have demonstrated an improved understanding of the failures in key services and have effected improvements in some areas. However, an over-optimistic evaluation of the performance of these services, provided for this inspection, does not demonstrate a realistic understanding of the challenges faced.
Strategies to tackle child sexual exploitation have been developed with partners, but these are not consistently underpinned by robust practice. For example, children missing from care are not routinely interviewed on their return, so risks are unexplored. Quality of practice
Social work practice is not robust and, in too many cases, assessments and plans are not of a good enough quality.
Too many changes of social workers and managers mean that plans to reduce harm and to promote the welfare of children and young people have been subject to drift and delay.
Weak management oversight has led to poor practice not being challenged and children’s needs being unmet. This is particularly the case for children who would benefit from being adopted.
The needs of looked after children are not well met as a result of poor permanency planning, insufficiency of local placements, frequent changes of social workers and delays in initial health assessments "
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