Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, (IICSA), found that staff at Lambeth Council repeatedly failed children living in care or foster homes since the 1960s.

The 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s saw a lot of sexual and other abuse in Lambeth Council’s residential foster care homes.

A summer inquiry into Lambeth Council was held to examine five facilities: Angell Road (South Vale Assessment Centre), the Shirley Oaks complex and Monkton Street. These buildings date back to the 1960s.

Although 705 ex-residents of Shirley Oaks, South Vale, or Angell Road filed complaints regarding sexual abuse by 2020, the inquiry found that they were likely much more. 

Many victims also reported the abuse to their adult partners, as well to staff and social workers. In many cases however, the victims did not report any sexual abuse to adults. 

According to the report, some children felt too scared or threatened by violence if they told anyone about the abuse. 

The London Borough of Lambeth and the children's homes considered in the report - including Ivy House, which in 1987 was moved from the Shirley Oaks site to Warham Road, Croydon

London Borough Lambeth as well as the child’s homes included in the report, including Ivy House which was relocated from Shirley Oaks in 1987 to Warham Road (Croydon).

Staff and councillors were found to have failed to fulfill their legal and professional duties in responding to serious allegations, including those of criminal behavior, against looked-after children. 

The Angell Road children’s home staff had to deal with Michael John Carroll. Although he was not required to reveal in the 1970s that he was convicted of child sexual abuse, the Carroll case was highlighted.

He was later convicted of 34 counts child sexual abuse in 1999.

Carroll was also involved in the recruitment of staff and investigations at Angell Road. 

Report found that there were ‘clear proof’ that both sexual offenders, and people suspected of sexual abuse, worked simultaneously in Lambeth Council’s children’s homes. 

It was stated that Lambeth Council had placed children at risk by failing to investigate concerns or making responses to allegations.

According to the report, sex offenders are likely to feel “untouchable”, while children may feel isolated and ignored.

Reporters identified a culture that covers up and an inability to care for children living with it.

According to it, Lambeth Council was plagued by “politicized behaviour and turmoil” during Margaret Thatcher’s 80s years as Prime Minister. The council also sought to ‘take over the Government’, thereby threatening local services. 

Although the report acknowledges that Lambeth has many improvements, it also mentions evidence from a 2016 case in which an allegation regarding rape was not investigated and a strategy meeting held to discuss the matter.

A child died in the bathroom at Shirley Oaks in 1977 having previously alleged his house father, Donald Hosegood, abused him

In 1977, Shirley Oaks’ bathroom was the scene of a child’s death. He had previously claimed that his father, Donald Hosegood, had abused him.

According to the report, “For many decades, Lambeth Council senior staff and councillors failed to make changes despite abundant evidence that children under its care were not receiving the protection and quality of life they deserved, as well as being at risk of abuse.”

“When systemic problems were discovered, they were minimized time after time. Risk levels were ignored.”

There were a few recommendations in the report. They included that the council create an action plan and review the recruitment and vetting of foster carers and staff at children’s homes.

Scotland Yard was also instructed to investigate criminal charges against the council for providing information about the circumstances in which a boy died. The boy, known in inquiry as LA-2, who had earlier claimed that his father, Donald Hosegood abused him, was found in Shirley Oaks bathroom. 

According to the inquiry, LA-A2 had difficulty speaking and was slow at doing things. He was also one of many people who were allegedly subjected to abuse by Mr Hosegood. 

Later, Mr Hosegood was tried for 11 counts each of indecent assault and rape involving 4 children. However, the case fell apart after only four days.  

An inquiry revealed that Lambeth Council failed to inform the Coroner regarding the boy’s claims.