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Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO)

Allegations against professionals or volunteers who work with children

All allegations about people who work with children, in statutory, independent or voluntary organisations, must be referred to the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO).

A referral to the LADO must be made if there is information about a person indicating they have:

  • Behaved in a way that has harmed, 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 they 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

If there is an allegation with regard to someone who works with children about children they care for in another capacity 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, children's 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 Disclosure and Barring Service.

On occasions someone who works with children can behave in a way that causes their colleagues or management anxieties. Such behaviours may include the failure to understand or appreciate how his or her own actions or those of others could adversely impact up on the safety and well-being of a child; inability to make sound professional judgments which safeguard the welfare of children; failure to understand or recognise 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.

To make a referral to the LADO, please complete the below form. If you are unsure if your concerns meet the threshold, the LADO in Bury can be contacted via email: please provide your contact details and a brief outline of what the concern may be. The LADO will get back to you during weekdays (Monday and Friday) between 9am and 5pm for an initial conversation and if necessary, will send you a referral form to complete so the necessary action can be taken.

If the matter is about the immediate welfare of a child, please contact the Bury Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) on 0161 253 5678 and they will assist you or Emergency Duty Team on 0161 253 6606 if outside 9am to 5pm on any day.

For further information, please read the Managing Allegations of Abuse Made Against Adults Who Work with Children and Young People policy