Designated persons for safeguarding
Role of Designated Person
This role is key to ensuring that procedures and policies are in place and are followed with regard to safeguarding and child protection and that there is a dedicated resource available for other staff and volunteers to draw upon. The Designated Person should be a member of staff who is designated to take lead responsibility for dealing with child protection issues, providing advice and support to other staff, liasing with the local authority and other agencies. The designated person must have the status and authority within the workforce management structure to carry out the duties of the post, including committing resources to child protection matters and, where appropriate, directing other staff.
In many agencies a single Designated Person will be sufficient, but a deputy should be available to act in their absence. In large establishments, or those with a large number of child protection concerns, it may be necessary to have a number of deputies to deal with concerns as a team. A named senior manager should hold the responsibility for ensuring procedures are followed in cases of allegations made against members of staff; this may be different person than the Designated Person. The Designated Person should act as a source of support, advice and expertise within the agency when deciding what action needs to be taken. It is their role to manage information in a confidential manner in line with Information Sharing Protocols. The designated person should liaise with senior management (where the role is not carried out by the senior manager) to inform them of any issues and ongoing investigations and ensure there is always cover for this role and that emergency and out of hours numbers are known.
Designated Persons should be able to:
- recognise how to identify signs of abuse and when it is appropriate to make a referral and when to consult outside their agency in an appropriate way
- have a working knowledge of how Local Safeguarding Children Boards (LSCBs) operate and the conduct of a child protection case conference, and be able to attend and contribute to these effectively when required to do so
- ensure each member of staff has access to and understands the agencies child protection policy, especially new or part-time staff who may have worked with different establishments prior to their current work role
- ensure all staff have induction training covering child protection and are able to recognise and report any concerns immediately they arise. (This is essential in respect of staff that are perhaps part time or work with more than one agency, such as Connexions, personal advisors, volunteers, trainee staff and supply staff)
- be able to keep detailed, accurate and secure written records of referrals or concerns
- obtain access to resources and attend any relevant or refresher training courses at least every two years.