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Autistic children and mother failed by Lambeth Council, report finds
7:00am Tuesday 4th September 2012 in News
Two autistic children were the victims of "unacceptable failings" by the council for more than a year when they were supposed to get vital daily care, a report has found.
Lambeth Council has apologised after being ordered to pay about £19,500 in compensation to a single mother who was left to struggle without respite care for over 15 months.
A report by the Local Government Ombudsman, a watchdog for councils, said the mother was distressed and outraged by the council failing to remedy faults identified by its own process.
Among other failings, she received considerably less assistance on a daily basis and as respite care than she was entitled leading her to describe herself as “worn out”.
Matters came to a crisis point in May 2009 when she asked for her youngest daughter and son to be put in care.
Ombudsman Jane Martin said: "The effect of the council’s failures was serious.
"The children’s mother was caused additional work in caring for her children alone by the loss of daily care and respite care to which she was entitled."
A Lambeth Council spokesman said it accepted the findings and recommended remedy including an apology and compensation.
He said: "We would like to apologise to the family for what must have been a distressing period in their lives.
"The issues highlighted in the Ombudsman’s report are unacceptable, and something we view with utmost seriousness.
"We would like to assure the wider public that lessons have been learned from this case and where required, changes have been made."