The Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) is the person who should be notified when it has been 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
- Behaved towards a child or children in a way that indicates she or he may pose a risk of harm to children.
The LADO may also become involved if:
- A complaint or an allegation is made against a person in relation to his/her work with adult service users, which causes concern about the welfare of an adult service user’s children or if the person also has another role working with children
- A complaint or an allegation is made against a person in relation to a matter that may indicate that the person may not be suitable to work with children
All organisations providing services for children, including those who provide paid staff or volunteers to work with or care for children should inform the LADO if allegations are made.
What happens when I contact the LADO?
- Referrers will be asked to complete a referral form and where necessary provide other supporting information.
- Information should not be disclosed to the accused person until discussions have taken place with the LADO, the police and / or LA children's social care as this may hinder investigations.
- The LADO will review the information and may need to hold a LADO strategy meeting. The accused adult will not be invited to this meeting but all other relevant people will be invited.
- The LADO will normally chair the LADO strategy meeting and the participants should be sufficiently senior to contribute all relevant available information about the allegation, child and accused person and make decisions on behalf of their agencies.
The LADO should regularly monitor the progress of cases either by:
- Holding review LADO strategy meetings or by liaising with those that attended the initial meeting.
- A final LADO strategy meeting is usually held after all investigations have been completed to ensure that all tasks have been completed and where appropriate, to agree an action plan for learning lessons in order to inform future practice.
Useful information and contact details
Doncaster Safeguarding Children Board (DSCB) Procedure for Allegations Against Staff, Carers and Volunteers can be found at: http://doncasterscb.proceduresonline.com/chapters/p_alleg_staff_vols.html
LADO Information sheet and referral form:
Urgent child protection concerns
If you are worried about a child that might be at immediate risk of harm or if the situation is an emergency do not wait to contact the LADO and contact either Children’s Services and/or the Police straight away.
The LADO can then be contacted after the child is safe.