Lambeth Council will share “lessons” with its children’s social care services staff, after a review of complaints found issues with accurate record keeping, consulting all relevant family members and unclear explanations from social workers.

The report identified key themes in the complaints made to the service in the first six months of this year.

But while feedback was important, resolving complaints against the service could be “problematic” according to the report.

“Many of the complaints we receive (and most of those included in the consultation exercise) are complaints about decision making, questioning why child protection processes have been initiated, why children have been taken into the care of the local authority and the redress they seek cannot be given,” the report explained.

According to the report, there were issues around families not given all the relevant paperwork ahead of key events, like child protection conferences.

Relevant close family members such as fathers were not always consulted for input when assessments were being completed and reports were not always sent out on time following meetings, reviews and conferences.

This meant decisions were not always recorded accurately, according to the report.

Complaints also showed confusion about care plans, which led the report to recommend: “Social workers should explain decisions in plain terms and record they have gone through the care plan with the young person or the family.”

Staff have also been told they must ensure information is not shared with any third parties.

According to the report, 23 per cent of complaints related to delays with payments – but this was something staff had followed up, and there would be a review of the payment process.

Of the complaints, seven per cent related to staff conduct.

The “key messages” shared with staff after the review include emphasis on accurate record keeping, clear communication at all stages, including parents in all important meetings and reviews.