Stockton Council children's services criticised in Ofsted report
A Teesside council has been criticised for the second time this year over care it provides to vulnerable youngsters.
Ofsted inspectors found "unnecessary delays" in assessing children's needs at Stockton Council, while the scale of some work was "not fully recognised".
A critical report has rated the authority's children services department as "requiring improvement".
The council has pledged to respond quickly to what it recognised as a "disappointing report".
The latest report comes after a joint Care Quality Commission (CQC) and Ofsted investigation earlier this year found "significant weaknesses" in the care the authority offers to young people with special educational needs.
After a four-day inspection in May Ofsted inspectors said there had been "a decline in overall effectiveness" of children's social care services and "management shortcomings".
Stockton Council had 502 children in its care at the time, the Local Democracy Reporting Service said.
While the council welcomed praise for "effective" safeguarding and early help for families, it said there would be "quick and decisive" action to tackle highlighted failings.
Lisa Evans, Stockton Council's cabinet member for children and young people, said: "What's important now is that we respond quickly and decisively and that's exactly what we're doing.
"We have moved swiftly to put an action plan in place to address the areas where we need to improve."