The new director of children's services in Leeds has warned there could be job cuts in his department.
Nigel Richardson, who took on the job earlier this month, said he was waiting to hear how public spending cuts would affect his budget.
He said with cuts expected to reach up to 40% he could not rule out the possibility of job losses.
Mr Richardson said he would have to look at new ways of working to ensure that children were protected.
He said: "I think it would be wrong to say people weren't worried. The big problem we have got is we don't yet know the scale of the cuts.
"Children's services is a very critical area of activity.
"The fact that there is a duty placed on local authorities, a duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children, and if you look at Leeds there's 180,000 of them, then that gives you some idea of the enormity of the challenge."
Mr Richardson said his department would not be "the same organisation, employing the same people doing exactly the same things" in the future.
He said: "We are going to be charged with providing a range of services for local communities but we are going to have to do that with diminishing resources.
"We will have to try to look at different ways of making sure we are still able to offer the right level of service that safeguards and promotes the welfare of children."