Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO)
The LADO can also be contacted on 01484 221 126.
All allegations about people who work with children, in statutory or voluntary organizations, must be referred to the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO).
A referral to the LADO must be made within 24 hours (or on a Monday if the information comes to light at the end of the day on a Friday) if there is information about a person indicating they have:
- 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 they may pose a risk of harm to children.
If there is an allegation with regard to someone who works with children about children they care for in another capacity (eg their own children) then this potentially has implications for their professional role and must also be referred to the LADO.
Any allegation can require potentially three different enquiries: a police investigation; a child protection enquiry; and a disciplinary enquiry. The LADO will ensure that enquiries are managed appropriately and that information is shared between the police, social care and the employer. The LADO will discuss with the employer how the person who the allegation is about will be supported and managed whilst enquiries are being undertaken and how children will be kept safe whilst enquiries are ongoing. If it is evidenced that someone is unsafe to work with children the LADO will ensure required actions have been taken including, when necessary, referring to the appropriate bodies.
On occasions someone who works with children can behave in a way that causes their colleagues or management anxieties. Such behaviors may include the failure to understand or appreciate how his or her own actions or those of others could adversely impact upon the safety and well-being of a child; inability to make sound professional judgements which safeguard the welfare of children; failure to understand or recognize the need for clear personal and professional boundaries in his or her work; behaved in a way in his or her personal life which could put children at risk of harm; become the subject of criminal proceedings not relating to a child.
Anyone with concerns about a person’s suitability to work with children should contact the LADO for advice and guidance.
If you are Education staff using ANYCOMMS, please select the drop down menu and select ‘Child Protection’.
Upon receipt of a completed referral form the LADO will respond before the end of the next working day, or on a Monday if the referral was sent in on a Friday after 4pm.
You might also be interested in…
Professionals should also refer to the West Yorkshire Consortium Safeguarding Children Procedures at www.proceduresonline.com/westyorkscb/chapters/p_alleg_staff.html