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IICSA Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

Children in the care of Lambeth Council Investigation Report


C.1: Introduction

1. Children with complex needs and communication difficulties are among the most vulnerable in society, including to sexual abuse. The terms ‘complex’ or ‘additional’ needs encapsulate a range of conditions that affect a child’s ability to communicate, including intellectual disability, mental health problems and physical impairments. Small communication signs or changes in behaviour indicating sexual abuse can be both harder to identify in children with complex needs and more easily dismissed, particularly when the child is cared for by multiple carers.[1]

2. In order to examine how complaints of sexual abuse from children with communication difficulties were dealt with, we considered documentary evidence and heard from witnesses involved in investigations into allegations of abuse at two of Lambeth Council’s homes for children with complex needs, Ivy House and Monkton Street. We also received evidence from the mother of LA-A26, a former short-stay resident at Ivy House.


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