Lambeth: Children’s Service improvement found

1 August 2023

Written by: Lambeth Council

Children and young people - Council statements and updates - News and announcements

Inspectors from Ofsted said Lambeth Council’s Children’s Services is improving its support services for ‘children in need and children subject to a protection plan’ following a focused visit in June.

They found improvement in the quality of assessments carried out, social workers were praised for being extremely committed, knowing their children well, and being able to understand the diverse needs that the children, young people, and families they work with have.



Main post content

Lambeth: Children’s Service improvement found

Ofsted, which is the Government’s Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills, carries out full inspections – as well as focused visits which are an opportunity to feedback on areas of strength and improvement which organisations can build on.

Councillor Ben Kind, Cabinet Member for Children and Families said: “It’s reassuring to receive such encouraging feedback from Ofsted about improvements in our service, particularly coming so soon after our recent Children’s Services inspection.

“We take great pride in our self-awareness and recognise areas that need improvement. We’re making significant efforts to address these gaps and this focused visit confirms we’re headed in the right direction.

The recently launched Lambeth Social Care Academy will undoubtedly bolster our social workers’ capabilities, while our strong leadership team continues to drive positive change and progress”.

The focused visit looking at ‘children in need and children subject to a protection plan’ covered the work of the council’s Safeguarding Service which aims to ensure children are safeguarded and that, whenever possible, children remain with their families and support is offered to reduce the risk of family breakdown.

Within the report, inspectors recommended the following areas for development:

  • Effective transition arrangements for children’s cases transferring between social work teams. 
  • Timely assessment and planning for children, including disabled children.
  • Police response to children who go missing and police attendance at child protection meetings where information is shared to inform decisions about risks and plans to protect children. 
  • Effective multi-agency information-sharing at child protection conferences. In particular, timely written reports in line with statutory guidance.

Andrew Carter, Lambeth’s Corporate Director for Children, Families and Education, said: “We want Lambeth to be the best place for children and young people to grow up in.

“I’m really pleased to see that Ofsted recognised the commitment and talent of Lambeth’s social workers. The positivity of the report is a true testament to how dedicated our workforce is and how they are striving to ensure good outcomes for children and young people.

“Everyone works very hard to make sure our services are working well. We have been making improvements to all of Children’s Services – including most recently undertaking a review of our children with disabilities service, putting in place a dedicated pre-proceedings legal team, and revising our procedures for responding to children who go missing from home. We welcome Ofsted’s feedback, which will be taken forward with partners in our improvement plans’.”

The council acknowledges that more work needs to be done to improve the service for disabled children and their families and the report noted that the council has already taken some action to address this since the previous full Ofsted inspection in October 2022.

To read the full report visit the Ofsted website