Peterborough Council’s safeguarding services have been rated as inadequate because Ofsted inspectors uncovered a backlog of more than 230 cases.
Although the backlog was promptly dealt with, the watchdog said the council had been putting hundreds of children at risk.
The inspection, in March, found that team managers had more than 30 cases allocated to them. Most were allocated to social workers no longer with Peterborough children’s services.
The build-up was in part the result of a high turnover of agency social workers, agency team managers and interim service managers, the report said.
The council said that, since then, it has been allocating cases properly.
Peterborough Council’s director of children’s services, John Richards, said: “I would like to reassure the public that this was a temporary issue that was dealt with. When the inspectors came in, we had already brought in a highly-experienced head of social care, more social workers and experienced team managers to clear the backlog and further improve our systems so it could never happen again.
“All cases for initial assessment were allocated by the time the inspection had finished. We continue to allocate cases properly and do not have a backlog of referrals awaiting allocation. However, the volume of work continues to increase in line with the national trend and we will be increasing our resources further to deal with this.”
Meanwhile, Bristol has become the first large city authority in England and Wales to receive a “good” rating since the new Ofsted inspection regime for safeguarding was introduced in June 2009.
Bristol Council’s director for children, young people and skills, Annie Hudson, said: “There is much that everyone working in these services should feel proud of.
“That said, we can’t ever be complacent when it comes to safeguarding children. We are very committed to continuously improving services. The report notes that some social worker caseloads are too high and, to address this, recruitment is under way for additional child care social workers.”