Managing allegations against child care professionals
In order to manage allegations against child care professionals, every Local Authority appoints a Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO). The LADO works within Children’s Services and should be alerted to all cases in which it is alleged that a person who works with children has:
behaved in a way that has harmed, or may have harmed, a child
possibly committed a criminal offence against children, or related to a child, or
behaved towards a child or children in a way that indicates s/he may pose a risk to children. (Working Together 2015)
In this context, the term “professional” includes paid employees, volunteers, casual/agency staff and self-employed workers who will have contact with children as a part of their role. The LADO ensures that all allegations or concerns about professionals or adults working or volunteering with children are recorded appropriately, monitored and progressed in a timely and confidential way. The LADO is involved from the initial phase of the allegation through to the conclusion of the case. The LADO provides 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, consistent with a thorough and fair process
Any allegation should be reported immediately to a senior manager within your organisation. The LADO should also be informed within one working day of all allegations that come to an employer’s attention or that are made directly to the police. The LADO must also be informed of any assessments/allegations about a professional's personal /family life which could suggest that they may be a risk to children with whom they are working.
All cases will be subject to an initial joint evaluation between the LADO and referring agency, involving relevant sectors as and when appropriate including, the Police, Children’s social work services, employers and regulatory bodies .The assessment will focus on the nature of the concern, safeguarding for the particular child/children and appropriate consideration for the professional/volunteer involved. An allegations management meeting will be convened where necessary to agree an appropriate way forward.
The protection of a child/young person will be the prime consideration in the process of managing an allegation .The child/young person’s involvement in the process including support and feedback will be given careful consideration with the LADO ensuring that the child’s voice is heard.
For the professional involved, the assessment and subsequent action will be stressful whatever the outcome and support for each individual must be considered and acted upon.
If an organisation removes an individual (paid worker or unpaid volunteer) from work such as looking after children (or would have, had the person not left first) because the person poses a risk of harm to children, the organisation must make a referral to the Disclosure and Barring Service.
The Local Authority Designated Officers in Leeds can be contacted Monday to Friday on: 0113 247 8652
Between them they operate a duty system for LADO Notifications.
If you think that a professional has harmed a child:
1. Make telephone contact first to discuss any allegations or concerns
2. Complete this notification form
3. Email the form to: LADO@leeds.gcsx.gov.uk
Please make sure that you follow the West Yorkshire procedures in conjunction with the above.