The government today took control of a local council's child protection services after a damning report found youngsters at risk of "significant harm".
Ofsted inspectors found "widespread and serious failures" in children's services at Croydon, south London.
Ofsted blamed poor practice, weak management and a high staff turnover for a series of failings.
The Labour council was accused of being too slow to respond to children in need of help and failing to reduce the risk to children went missing or were in danger of being sexually exploited.
Almost 400 children in the borough were so at risk they were the subject of child protection orders.
There are widespread and serious failures in the services provided to children and their families in Croydon that leave some children at risk of significant harm. When children are missing or are at risk of sexual exploitation, poor recognition and response to these concerns is not reducing risk to them effectively.
Ministers appointed a government troubleshooter, Eleanor Brazil, to take over the department after concluding the council had "systematically failed".
Croydon Council said it accepted the findings and was working with Ofsted to "deliver better services".