Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO)
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 Designated Officer (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 (March 2015). 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 (and therefore may be unsuitable to work with children)
Whenever an allegation/ referral is made against a person working /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 Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) 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:
If you have concerns about the safety of a child you can report your concerns here.