Steve Reed congratulates council for ‘outstanding’ adoptions rating

Lambeth Town Hall, by Laura Spargo

Lambeth Council leader Steve Reed has congratulated councillors and council staff after the area’s adoption service became one of seven in England to be rated as “outstanding” by the inspections body Ofsted.

At a council cabinet meeting in Lambeth town hall on Wednesday evening, Cllr Reed said: “We are among the best in the country and that is incredible.

“But there will be no room for complacency. We can still do better,” he said.

The council achieved the rating in a report published last month. At the cabinet meeting, Cllr Pete Robbins criticised the “adoption scorecards” published recently by the government, which measure how quickly councils arrange adoptions. Lambeth Council scored relatively low marks on the adoption scorecard assessments.

“I genuinely believe the government wants to improve adoption services, but measuring how long it takes to place children will put some councils off working with the more difficult children that they know will take longer to arrange adoptions for,” he said.

The cabinet also heard at the meeting that teenage pregnancy rates, infant mortality rates and the number of child road accidents had fallen in Lambeth.

The council has also been rated as “outstanding” in a report by Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission on its safeguarding and looked-after children’s services.

The report said 58% of children and young people in Lambeth were from ethnic minority communities, compared to 37% of the general population.

It said 35% of under-17s in Lambeth lived in families claiming out-of-work or in-work benefits, compared to 24% nationally.