05 Aug An Independent Inquiry Into Child Sexual Abuse In Lambeth
“It is hard to comprehend the cruelty and sexual abuse inflicted on children in the care of Lambeth council over many years, by staff, by foster carers and their families, and by volunteers in residential settings,” the report concludes.
Hundreds of vulnerable children in the care of Lambeth council in south London were subjected to horrendous cruelty and sexual abuse over several decades between the 1930s-1990s on a scale that was “hard to comprehend”, an inquiry report conducted by the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) has found.
The IICSA also found more than 700 allegations of sexual abuse against hundreds of staff and individuals connected with just three homes in the borough. The true scale of abuse was likely to be far higher, it said.
Who is the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA)?
The IICSA was set up by the government following serious concerns that some organisations had failed and were continuing to fail to protect children from sexual abuse.
The IICSA announced in November 2015 that it would be undertaking 12 separate investigations, including one into “the extent of any institutional failures to protect children in the care of Lambeth Council from sexual abuse and exploitation”. It began the full hearings of its investigation into “Children in the care of Lambeth Council” and published its final report on the council on Tuesday 27 July 2021.
This final report is its third since 2018, following previous inquiries into Rochdale and Nottinghamshire councils. It focuses on conditions in five of Lambeth’s care homes in the borough from the late 60s, especially a period in the 70s and 80s when it says physical and sexual abuse in its children’s homes was “pervasive.”
What is the Lambeth Children’s Homes Redress Scheme?
In January 2018, Lambeth Council launched the Lambeth Children’s Homes Redress Scheme in dealing with the consequences, a first of its kind in the United Kingdom.
It aims to support individuals who were abused or were at risk of being abused at Shirley Oaks and other Lambeth children’s homes in dealing with the consequences through financial means, free support services and amends.
Since the launch of the scheme, more than 1,602 people have applied, and over £46.4 million has been paid out in compensation.
Why are V4CE working on the Lambeth Redress campaign?
Lambeth Council are aware that some people from Black African and Caribbean backgrounds who are eligible have not yet come forward to claim compensation.
The barriers could range from
- fear of re-traumatisation
- putting personal information at risk
- unclarity of information on how to apply
- concerns about how Redress could impact other support claims
and many other factors that are preventing people from coming forward and making their application.
Voice4Change England and Black Thrive, a local grassroots partnership, have been appointed by Lambeth Council to support the Black community’s access to a financial redress scheme to compensate victims of child abuse whilst in care.
“We are working to ensure that the survivors of Lambeth’s children’s homes have their experiences acknowledged, are compensated fairly and receive an apology that recognises the failings of Lambeth’s care system,” said Kunle Olulode, Director of Voice4Change England, the national voice for the Black and minority ethnic third sector.
For more information and to apply for compensation in a safe and confidential space, please visit the website: Lambeth Children’s Homes Redress Scheme