Herefordshire Council has been told to improve child protection services or face having the government step in to take them over.
Ofsted inspectors said in October that the authority’s safeguarding services for children were “inadequate.”
The Department of Education has now issued an urgent improvement notice.
The council has said it was committed to making the improvements and it had already started an “enhanced training programme” for staff.
An audit of 1,400 child protection cases undertaken since the inspection in October, showed 70% were judged to be “adequate or better”, the council said.
Councillor Patricia Morgan said: “It’s about making sure that the changes we make are embedded and sustainable so that our children and young people can expect a consistently good service from us if they need our help.”
The Ofsted report raised concerns about a number of areas including decision making, information sharing and stability of the workforce.
The Department of Education has set out 31 criteria for the council to meet in its improvement notice.
It said the authority would have to report back to them in April with a progress report against the targets it had set out.