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Local Authority Designated Officer: LADO

The Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO), has overall responsibility for the management of allegations of Abuse against Adults who work with Children.  The LADO provides advice and guidance, liaises with the Police, Social Care Teams, regulatory bodies such as Ofsted and other organisations as needed and ensures a consistent, fair and thorough process for both child and adult.

The Pan-Sussex Child Protection & Safeguarding Procedures provides guidance to managing cases of allegations that might indicate that a person is unsuitable to continue to work with children in their present position, or in any capacity.

They should be used in respect of all cases in which it is alleged that an employee 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 he or she would pose a risk of harm if they work regularly or closely with children, is unsuitable to work with children.

A ‘staff member’ is a person whose work brings them into contact with children in their setting. It, therefore, applies to all adults whether paid or working in a voluntary capacity (including supply/agency workers) on or off premises and sites.

The procedures should be applied with common sense. It is imperative that everyone who deals with allegations of abuse maintains an open and inquiring mind, and that allegations are taken seriously. The rights of the child and member of staff must be considered. However, the child’s interests must be paramount as set out in the Children Act 1989.

All staff have a responsibility to report if they believe a member of staff is harming or using unacceptable behaviour towards a child. Information may come to light about behaviour outside of the workplace which could indicate a breach of acceptable professional conduct.

In investigating allegations, actions should be conducted in a way that recognises the vulnerability of staff and seeks to protect them as far as possible from mistaken or false allegations.

Following confirmation that there is some potential foundation, the employer should seek the advice of the LADO on the same day. The LADO will consider the information and whether it meets the criteria for consultation with the police and social care.

In rare cases allegations will be so serious as to require immediate intervention by children’s social work services and/or police. Others scenarios may seem much less serious and on the face of it will not warrant consideration of a police investigation, or enquiries by children’s services. However it is important that they are examined objectively by someone independent of the employer concerned. Investigations must be dealt with quickly, fairly and impartially.

The employer must not commence an internal investigation before consulting with the LADO. It is the responsibility of the Police and the Children’s Services to investigate allegations of abuse involving children. Any such intervention at this stage could jeopardise a potential criminal investigation. The employer may make basic enquiries to determine whether there may be some potential foundation to the allegation. The enquiries should be minimal to establish the facts of the allegation, if these were not established or were unclear at the time of the concern being raised.

  • Was the employee at work that day?
  • Did the employee come into contact with the child?
  • Have any other potential witnesses come forward?

The Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) is responsible for the oversight and management of allegations made against employees. Consequently they should be informed of all allegations that come to an employer’s attention. The LADO for Brighton and Hove City Council is;

Darrel Clews, Safeguarding Team, Childrens Services, Moulsecoomb Hub North Building, Hodshrove Lane, Brighton, BN2 4SB

Tel: 01273295643     Mobile: 07795335879

The LADO will provide advice, guidance and help to determine whether a concern or allegation sits within the scope of safeguarding procedures. They have responsibility for ensuring the workforce is safe by managing allegations of abuse or misconduct of professionals working with children, offering advice and making referrals to the relevant bodies as appropriate.

The LADO is responsible for raising awareness and understanding of safe working practices and safer recruitment, share learning based on experiences, to ensure that practice and services are constantly improved, help establish and aid an understanding of baselines from which we can measure the impact of services on children or young people. The LADO is also responsible for identifying gaps in service and service standards and reporting these to the Local Safeguarding Children Board.

Leaflet for Employees and Volunteers regarding the Management of Allegations of Abuse against Children