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Local Authority Designated Officer

When an allegation of abuse is made against an adult working with children, this is reported to the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO). Every local authority must have a LADO in place who is responsible for co-ordinating the response to the allegation.

The purpose and duties of the role are set out in the HM Government statutory guidance Working Together to Safeguard Children (2018). Chapter 2, Organisational Responsibilities, lays out the procedures for managing allegations against people who work with children, for example, those in a position of trust, including volunteers.

These procedures for managing allegations against adults who work or volunteer with children are to be used in respect of all cases in which it is alleged 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 which indicates they may pose a risk of harm to children
  • Behaved in a way that indicates they may not be suitable to work with children


  • Manages and oversees individual cases ensuring independent scrutiny
  • Liaises with police and other agencies and ensures the appropriate agencies are involved in the investigation
  • Ensures that child protection procedures are initiated where the child is considered to be at risk of significant harm
  • Provides advice and guidance to employers in relation to the adult's suitability to remaining in post over the course of the investigation, considering risk assessments, completing investigations, proceeding with disciplinary procedures
  • Ensures issues of sharing information with parents and other relevant individuals and organisations are considered
  • Monitors progress of investigations to ensure timely responses

You can read the full policy and procedures for handling allegations against an adult working with children on the Norfolk Safeguarding Children Partnership website.

How to make a referral

If you have concerns about an adult working with a child under the age of 18 that you would like to report, see the LADO Guidance and consultation documents:

All queries relating to the LADO should follow these procedures and be sent to

If you have concerns about the safety of a child you can report your concerns.