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Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO)

The Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) deals with allegations of abuse made against adults working with children. Every local authority must have a LADO in place who is responsible for coordinating 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 (July 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 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 (and therefore may be unsuitable to work with children)

Whenever an allegation/referral is made against a person working or volunteering with children, the LADO:

  • Manages and oversees individual cases ensuring independent scrutiny
  • Liaises with police and other organisations and ensures the appropriate agencies are involved in the safeguarding investigation process
  • Is involved in child protection procedures initiated by Children’s Social Care and/or the Children’s Advice and Duty Service (CADS) where the child is considered to be at risk of significant harm Provides advice and guidance to employers; voluntary organisations and senior managers about the operation of the procedure  ‘Allegations against Persons who work/ volunteer with children’
  • 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 Allegations against Persons who work/ volunteer with children procedures on the Norfolk Safeguarding Children Board 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 safeguarding LADO process and procedures should be sent to

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

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