Steps to help improve children’s services in Blackburn with Darwen have been set out.

The local authority has submitted an action plan to education inspectorate Ofsted after a visit last year found some shortcomings.

Inspectors found performance was good overall but the experiences and progress of children who need help and protection from the council required improvement.

A total of nine recommendations on how to improve the service were put forward by Ofsted following the inspection and now the council has laid out how it will address them.

Council bosses say they will identify resources to report more effectively as part of a wider review of department structures.

Senior management figures in the department are to review all child protection plan cases ahead of third reviews.

A tracker is to be put in place monitoring children and young people on the cusp of going into care.

More support is to be given for youngsters leaving care with a view to helping them find work.

Assessments reflecting changes in children’s lives are to be approved by managers.

And expectations around transition arrangements for disabled children as they approach their 18th birthday are to be clearly defined.

Lead inspector Neil Penswick said: “Since the last Ofsted inspection in 2012, identified areas for improvement have been addressed.

“The quality of strategy discussions, section 47 inquiries and the management of allegations against adults who work with children have improved and are now good.

“Blackburn with Darwen’s ‘risk sensible’ model was developed and rolled out to all staff, resulting in a well-used framework to assess need, evaluate progress and deliver individual targeted services.

“Despite this, overall, this area is not as strong as it was in 2012. This is because there was an increase in the need for help and protection support for children during 2016 ?17 which resulted in a large increase in social work assessments, more children in need and more children subject to protection plans.

“The capacity of workers and managers was stretched, creating a delay for some children entering the Public Law Outline (PLO).

“On this inspection, inspectors saw good work across the service, but there is too much variability in the assessment and safeguarding teams.”

Progress against the action plan will be monitored externally through meetings between Ofsted and the council’s director of children’s services, Linda Clegg, and through any other Ofsted inspections that take place in the future.