‘Children can be subjected to abuse by those who work with them in any setting. All allegations of abuse or maltreatment of children by a professional, staff member, foster carer or volunteer must therefore be taken seriously and treated in accordance with consistent procedures. LSCB’s have responsibility for ensuring there are effective inter-agency procedures in place for dealing with allegations against people who work with children, and monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of those procedures.’ (Working Together to Safeguard Children 2010, para. 6.32).
Working Together requires that a Local Authority LSCB has a Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) to be involved in the management and oversight of individual cases, providing advice and guidance to employers and voluntary organisations, liaising with the police and other agencies, and monitoring the progress of cases to ensure that they are dealt with as quickly as possible and consistent with a fair and thorough process.
The LADO should be involved in all cases in which there is an allegation or serious concern about an adult working/volunteering with children. The LADO should be informed within one working day of all allegations that come to an employer’s attention, a Named Senior Officer or made directly to the Police.
The LADO should be made aware of all cases in which it is alleged that a person who works with children has:
- Behaved in a way that has harmed a child, or may have harmed a child;
- Possibly committed a criminal offence against or related to a child; or
- Behaved towards a child or children in a way that indicates s/he is unsuitable to work with children.
There may be up to three strands in the consideration of an allegation:
- A police investigation of a possible criminal offence;
- Enquiries and assessment by children’s social care about whether a child is in need of protection or in need of services; and
- Consideration by an employer of disciplinary action in respect of the individual.
Every allegation or serious concern should be referred to the relevant Named Senior Officer, and thence to the LADO.
DO Contact Details:
Tel: 01733 864038
Fax: 0870 2384083