Lambeth Council’s “inadequate” children services have improved, but children are still waiting too long to be adopted, according to a recent report.

The Ofsted report said the council’s children’s services were rated as ‘requires improvement to be good’ – an improvement from the 2015 report in which the services were rated as inadequate.

But the service’s adoption performance was still rated inadequate with “insufficient progress made since the last inspection.”

The report highlighted that there were too few children being adopted – seven since April 2017 – with “avoidable” delays in the system.

“Children who should be adopted are waiting too long,” the report read.

“The failure to progress some children’s plans for adoption since the last inspection was avoidable and reflects poor management oversight and decision-making.

“The local authority has not been proactive in recruiting adopters to ensure that there is a sufficient range of placement choice to meet local need.

“During the period from 2014 to 2017, there was little improvement in the

timeliness of adoption performance, and it fell significantly short of the Department for Education threshold and England average.

“For the period 2017 to 2018, there has been some improvement made, but the timeliness of adoption performance remains significantly below both thresholds.”

The report also said there was a delay with children being placed with foster carers, despite being matched, and that the council could do more to keep siblings together.

“Recently proactive efforts and family finding has kept brothers and

sisters together, but this is not embedded practice,” the report read.

The report added the council had done nothing to increase the range of adopters, including for children from black and minority ethnic communities and children over the age of two.

In a statement, Lambeth Council said it “welcomed the finding” and renewed its commitment to further progress.

“The improvement follows heavy investment in the service, resulting in a more stable workforce, lower caseloads and improving social work practice,” the statement read.