Social workers in Herefordshire left some children at risk of harm, an Ofsted inspection has concluded.
Herefordshire Council's children's contact, referral and assessment centre was checked in June and found to have "significant weaknesses".
They included poor case assessment methods and decisions made with only partial information.
Herefordshire Council said it accepted the findings and had taken immediate action to improve.
The Ofsted report said: "Assessment and child protection processes are not always timely and management oversight and decision making is inconsistent and does not always identify risk factors.
"Consequently some children are left at risk of harm or experience delays in the provision of services."
The council said it had experienced a rise in case loads following new guidelines which came in earlier this year.
Kim Drake, the council's assistant director for safeguarding vulnerable children, said: "We try to keep case loads reasonable but there is high demand for services and many cases are extremely complex."