FIFTEEN children’s homes across East Lancashire are not providing sufficient levels of care to children in need, damning new figures have revealed.

Of the 57 children’s homes across Blackburn with Darwen, Burnley, the Ribble Valley, Hyndburn, Rossendale and Pendle, more than a quarter of them either require improvement or have been rated inadequate by Ofsted.

Several of the homes are operated by either Blackburn with Darwen council or Lancashire County Council, but the vast majority are run by private care providers.

All of the homes operated by Blackburn with Darwen council were rated either good or outstanding.

This latest breakdown of figures was released in the government’s annual local authority and children’s homes in England report.

As a whole, Lancashire County Council, which operates four homes in East Lancashire, requires improvement when it comes to looking after children who require help and protection, according a 2018 Ofsted report.

However in Blackburn, five of the six homes, three of which are run privately and three by the council, are rated either good or outstanding.

Janette Clarke, strategic head of social care, said: “We have three residential homes run by the council which are rated outstanding and good.

“The council has a policy to only place children in settings that are inspected as good or outstanding as we strive to ensure that all of our children and young people, who have already faced difficult starts to life, get the very best care.”

Lancashire County County operates four children’s homes in East Lancashire, with the others run by private operators.

Edwina Grant, executive director for education and children’s services, said: “Lancashire County Council operates four children’s homes in East Lancashire, of which one was judged to require improvement at its last inspection.

“Since then improvements have been made in line with Ofsted guidance and our own best practice.

“Our other homes were found to either be good or outstanding.

“At present we have children placed at 23 private care homes in East Lancashire which are judged to be good or outstanding homes, and two newly opened homes which are waiting to be inspected.

“One home we use was rated as requires improvement, and in instances such as this we would work with the provider to ensure improvements were made.

“We do not place children in homes rated to be inadequate by Ofsted.

“Children’s home providers can and do choose to place children from other local authority areas within homes in Lancashire, and Ofsted has a role in monitoring and inspecting these homes.”