LADO & Safer Working

Managing Allegations & the role of the LADO

Allegations against staff or volunteers who work with children may come to our attention under a different title i.e. allegation, concern or complaint. Regardless of the route, any information or referral which suggests that a member of staff or volunteer has harmed, committed a possible offence or may be unsuitable to work with children, must be dealt with by the SSCB procedures - Allegations against staff or volunteers and discussed with the LADO.

The management of allegations should be seen in the wider context of safer employment practices, which has three essential elements:

  • Safer recruitment & selection practices;
  • Safer working practices;
  • Management of allegations or concerns.

The LADO role applies to paid and unpaid workers, volunteers, casual and agency workers or anyone self-employed and they capture concerns, allegations or offences emanating from outside of work. The LADO is involved from the initial phase of the allegation through to the conclusion of the case. The 'Working Together' Guidance, 2013 (page 48) states that:

'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; OR
  • Possibly committed a criminal offence against, or related to, a child; OR
  • Behaved towards a child or children in a way that indicates they may pose a risk of harm to children'

All allegations that meet the criteria must be reported to the local authority designated officer (LADO).

Managing Allegations

"Allegations against staff or volunteers" sets out the process to be followed by agencies when responding to allegations against adults who work with children and young people, and should be used in all cases where it is alleged that a person who works with children or young people 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 towards a child or children in a way that indicates they may pose a risk of harm to children.

For all agencies the contact for Shropshire Council's LADO is 03456 789021.

After reporting the matter to the Initial Contact Team or the LADO, HR advice about Shropshire Council staff and school staff can be obtained by calling 01743 254402.

The LADO responsibilities include:

  • Management and oversight of individual cases from all partner agencies of the Shropshire Safeguarding Children Board 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 Protection of Children Act list or to the appropriate regulatory body.

Relevant Links:

Referrals to the Disclosure and Barring Service:

The Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 (SVGA) places a legal duty on Regulated Activity Providers (employers, volunteer managers and personnel suppliers) to refer any person who has:

  • Harmed or poses a risk of harm to a child or vulnerable adult;
  • Satisfied the harm test; or
  • Received a caution or conviction for a relevant offence.

Under the provisions of the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act, 2006, the following groups have a power to make a referral to the DBS:

  • Local authorities (safeguarding role);
  • Education and library boards;
  • Health and social care (HSC) trusts (NI);
  • Keepers of registers e.g. General Medical Council, Nursing and Midwifery Council;
  • Supervisory authorities e.g. Care Quality Commission, Ofsted.

Finally it may also be beneficial to register with us (e-database) so that you are kept informed of changes to our services as they are applied.

Further information and guidance, including factsheets and instructions can be found in the DBS referrals guidance and Making Safeguarding Referrals to the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) leaflet.

Referring a teacher in England to the Teaching Agency

If the person to be referred to the DBS is a teacher in England consideration should also be given to refer the case to the Teaching Agency. The Teaching Agency is an Executive Agency of the Department for Education, responsible for the regulation of teachers in respect of serious misconduct.

Find out more at the Teaching Agency's website.

Relevant Links:

The Disclosure and Barring Service

On December 1st 2012 the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) merged to become the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) as set out under the timetable of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012. Further legislative changes will come in to effect during 2013 and 2014 and amendments will be made accordingly.

The Safeguarding and Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 and Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 set out the foundation for this scheme. The Disclosure and Barring Service has an Independent Barring Board (IBB) with responsibility for taking barring decisions on new referrals and the management of two barred lists which replaced List 99, PoCA and PoVA Lists.

The system aims to provide employers with a quicker and more effective vetting and barring service. All disclosures for work with children and vulnerable persons are to be at an enhanced level for Regulated Activity.

The new organisation, DBS, will provide a service combining criminal records checking and the barring functions:

  • The barring part of the DBS will provide Caseworkers, who receive and process referrals about individuals, who have harmed, or who pose a risk of harm to, children, young people or vulnerable adults.
  • The checking part of the DBS will allow employers to check and access the criminal record history of people working, or applying to work (whether paid or unpaid) in certain positions, especially those that involve working with children and vulnerable adults.
  • The DBS website provides a range of advice, guidance and relevant forms.

Safe Recruitment

All organisations engaging people in 'Regulated Activities' must have robust and transparent recruitment procedures in place to ensure children, young people and vulnerable adults are safeguarded and they should be familiar with the Local Safeguarding Children Board policies and procedures.

Before recruiting staff (whether paid or unpaid), the following should be considered:

  • The application process should include the organisations commitment to safeguarding in for example the Job Description and any other documentation;
  • Thorough checks should be made of an applicant's identity, work history and references including any gaps in time;
  • Proof of qualifications should be obtained;
  • Checks with the Disclosure and Barring Service should be undertaken;
  • A probationary period and supervision of the person should take place;
  • References should be obtained and verified.

This is not an exhaustive list but a framework for sound recruitment practice.