Professional Allegations (LADO)

The role of the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO)

Section 11 of the Children Act 2004 places duties on a range of organisations and individuals to ensure their functions, and any services that they contract out to others, are discharged having regard to the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.

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All organisations should have in place arrangements that reflect the importance of safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children, including clear policies in line with those from Our Safeguarding Children Partnership (OSCP) for dealing with allegations against people who work with children.

An allegation may relate to a person who works with children who 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; or
  • behaved in a way that indicates they may post a risk of harm to children.

For further guidance around safe working with children in educational or non educational settings, please refer to the following documents:

Local Authorities should have a Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) to be involved in the management and oversight of individual cases. The LADO should provide advice and guidance to employers and voluntary organisations, liaising with the police and other agencies and monitoring the progress of cases to ensure that they are dealt with as quickly as possible, consistent with a thorough and fair process.

Within Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, the LADO is based within the Practice Development and Standards Service and can be contacted via 01872 326536.

Any allegation should be reported immediately to a senior manager within the organisation.

The LADO should also be informed within one working day of all allegations that come to an employer’s attention or that are made directly to the police.

If an organisation removes an individual (paid worker or unpaid volunteer) from work such as looking after children (or would have, had the person not left first) because the person poses a risk of harm to children, the organisation must make a referral to the Disclosure and Barring Service. It is an offence to fail to make a referral without good reason.

LADO Guides