CHILDREN'S Services in Cumbria remain 'inadequate' according to a critical Ofsted report.

The report, published yesterday, follows an inspection of services for children in need of help and protection, looked-after children, and young people leaving care.

It concludes that although there have been improvements since the last inspection, services overall remain 'inadequate'.

Cllr Anne Burns, cabinet member for Children’s Services, said: “This is not acceptable and we are absolutely clear that only ‘good’ is good enough for children in Cumbria. We are determined to ensure that the weaknesses identified in this report are dealt with quickly, and I think it’s important to apologise to those children in our care who have not received the quality of service that they deserve."

John Macilwraith, corporate director for Children’s Services, confirmed that the assistant director for children and families, Lyn Burns, had offered her resignation and he had accepted.

"In recognition of the urgency to improve we have appointed a new senior manager with a clear brief to quickly improve the quality of services for looked-after children and over the coming months we will be implementing a staffing restructure which will significantly strengthen management capacity in the local areas," he said.

In its report, Ofsted inspectors concluded that three key areas require improvement:

- children who need help and protection

- adoption performance

- and experiences and progress of care leavers;

while two key areas were described as inadequate:

- looked-after children and achieving permanence

- and leadership, management and governance.