Managing allegations (LADO Process)
All allegations of abuse of children by those who work with children must be taken seriously. Allegations against any person who works with children, whether in a paid or unpaid capacity, can cover a wide range of circumstances. Meaning all paid or unpaid staff / practitioners and volunteers, including for example foster carers, approved adopters child minders and supply staff. It also applies to any person, who manages or facilitates access to an establishment where children are present.
This procedure should be applied when there is such an allegation or concern 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 he or she may pose a risk of harm to children;
- Behaved or may have behaved in a way that indicates they may not be suitable to work with children.
Any concerns should be considered within the context of the four categories of abuse (i.e. physical, sexual and emotional abuse and neglect).
If concerns arise about the person's behaviour in relation to their own children, the Police and/or Children's Social Care must consider informing the employer / organisation in order to assess whether there may be implications for children with whom the person has contact at work / in the organisation, in which case this procedure will apply.
Allegations of historical abuse should be responded to in the same way as contemporary concerns. In such cases, it is important to find out whether the person against whom the allegation is made is still working with children and if so, to inform the person's current employer or voluntary organisation or refer their family for assessment.
For detailed information access our Managing allegations policy
Roles and responsibilities +
Your organisation should have a named senior officer who has overall responsibility for ensuring that the organisation operates procedures for dealing with allegations.
The role of the LADO +
Local Authorities should also designate officers - the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) - to be involved in the management and oversight of individual cases. The LADO provides advice and guidance to employers and voluntary organisations, liaises with the police and other agencies and monitor the progress of cases. They ensure cases are dealt with as quickly as possible and are consistent with a thorough and fair process.
If an allegation is made that a professional who is caring for a child has abused them in any way, a referral must be made to the LADO.
A meeting will be arranged to discuss the allegations and ensure that any children involved are safeguarded while investigations are completed.
Professionals from different agencies will meet in LADO strategy meetings to discuss concerns and decide what should happen. The LADO will chair the meetings and make sure that what is decided is carried out.
Additional Relevant guidance +
Managing Allegations training is available to all Managers of agencies that work with children and families, places can be booked through our training system