Every local authority has a statutory responsibility to have a Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) who is responsible for co-ordinating the response to concerns that an adult who works with children may have caused them or could cause them harm. In Achieving for Children there is a LADO service which provide this role and support.
LADO leads on more complex cases, and operations. They deliver internal and external LADO training, and works with the Safeguarding Children's Partnerships across the two operational areas.
The LADO’s key role is to
- Provide advice and guidance to employers or voluntary organisations
- Liaise with police and other agencies including Ofsted and professional bodies, such as the General Medical Council and the Teaching Regulation Agency
- Monitor the progress of referrals to ensure they are dealt with as quickly as possible, consistent with a thorough and fair process
- Seek to resolve any inter-agency issues
- Collect strategic data and maintain a confidential database in relation to allegations
- Disseminate learning from LADO enquiries throughout the children’s workforce
What will the LADO Service advise you when you refer an allegation?
- Whether the allegation meets the threshold for LADO involvement
- Offer guidance on next steps (involvement of other agencies or internal disciplinary)
- How to manage talking about the concerns with the adult who may have harmed the child
- How to inform the child’s parents or carers
- Their view regarding suspension, although the decision rests with the employer
- Regardless of the nature of the allegations and who receives the allegation, it must be reported to the LADO Service immediately. This must also include situations where the worker resigns. Compromise agreements are not acceptable in such circumstances and may put others at risk in the future.
- Complaints procedures are separate to the allegations process and just because someone does not wish to make a complaint, this does not mean the allegation should not be considered and investigated.
- Unless the allegation is found to be false or malicious, records should be kept for 10 years.
- LADO procedures may also apply to an individual who works with children, but the allegations or concerns arise in their private life.
- All settings should have an up-to-date managing allegations or whistle blowing policy.
- Do not investigate the matter, question the victim, alleged perpetrator or potential witnesses without a consultation with the LADO Service.
- Ensure children are safeguarded, make a referral to the SPA/MASH if required.
- The LADO Service is available to offer advice and support on any safeguarding or managing allegation matters, so if in doubt, always make a call to the service.
LADO procedure flowchart