Allegations against staff or volunteers
All allegations of abuse of children by those who work with children (whether in a paid or unpaid capacity) must be taken seriously.
The management of allegations should be seen in the wider context of safer employment practices, which has three essential elements:
- Safer recruitment and selection practices
- Safer working practices
- Management of allegations or concerns
The Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) is involved in the management and oversight of allegations against people who work with children. This applies to allegations against paid and unpaid workers, volunteers, casual and agency workers or anyone self-employed. The LADO is involved from the initial phase of the allegation through to the conclusion of the case.
Working Together to Safeguard Children Guidance 2018 (page 60) states:
‘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
- 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’
The regional procedure 1.14 Allegations against Staff or Volunteers describes what action should be taken if the above criteria is met.
All allegations that meet the criteria must be reported to the LADO by contacting the First Point of Contact (FPOC) on 03456 789021.
The LADO responsibilities include:
- Management and oversight of individual cases from all partner agencies of the Shropshire Safeguarding Community Partnership if the allegation meets the thresholds laid out in the guidance
- Providing advice and guidance to senior managers
- Monitoring the progress of cases to ensure they are dealt with within agreed timescales
- Ensuring a consistent and thorough process for all adults working with children and young people against whom allegations are made
- Liaising with Police and the Crown Prosecution Service
- Discussing with senior managers the possibility of referral to the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) and/or to the appropriate regulatory body.