All organisations providing services to children and young people must ensure that their staff and volunteers are safe to do so. The vast majority of adults who work with children and young people act professionally and aim to provide a safe and supportive environment which secures the well-being of children and young people in their care. However, it is recognised that adults can abuse their ‘position of trust’ and can seek out, create or exploit opportunities to abuse children and young people but also that misunderstandings can occur.
It is therefore essential that all possible steps are taken to ensure that staff, carers and volunteers working with children have clear and safe boundaries and that processes, procedures and working practices are in place to safeguard and protect children and young people from harm.
Guidance for managing allegations against staff or volunteers who work with children is outlined in Chapter 7 of the London Child Protection Procedures and Practice Guidance
Any allegation made against a member of staff (paid/unpaid) should immediately reported to the Designated Senior Manager within the organisation.
The Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) should be contacted within one working day of the allegation being made on (020 8708 5350) in order to discuss the concerns and any available information. Referrals should then be made direct to LADO@redbridge.gov.uk by completion of the LADO Referral Form (Word – 31KB) ensuring that all relevant information including a comprehensive account of the concerns and full particulars of all persons concerned.
Below are links to the procedures followed in Redbridge and the thresholds:
Redbridge’s LADO works within Children’s Services and should be alerted to all cases in which it is alleged that a person who works with children has:
- behaved in a way that has harmed, or may have harmed, a child;
- possibly committed a criminal offence against children, or related to a child; or
- behaved towards a child or children in a way that indicates he or she would pose a risk of harm if they work regularly or closely with children.
In addition, they should be contacted when there is an allegation that any person who works with children:
- Has behaved in a way in their personal life that raises safeguarding concerns. These concerns do not have to directly relate to a child but could, for example, include arrest for possession of a weapon;
- As a parent or carer, has become subject to child protection procedures;
- Is closely associated with someone in their personal lives (e.g. partner, member of the family or other household member) who may present a risk of harm to child/ren for whom the member of staff is responsible in their employment/volunteering.
You should not:
- attempt to deal with the situation yourself;
- make assumptions, offer alternative explanations or diminish the seriousness of the behaviour or alleged incidents;
- keep the information to yourself or promise confidentiality; or
- take any action that might undermine any future investigation or disciplinary procedure, such as interviewing the alleged victim or potential witnesses, or informing the alleged perpetrator or parents or carers.
Following referral and discussion the LADO will;
- Agree a course of action with the Designated Senior Manager including informing parents/carers of the child concerned and whether and when the subject of the allegation should be informed.
- Discuss with the Designated Senior Manager safeguarding aspects within the setting including the role of the staff member concerned.
- Inform other relevant organisations/agencies including police if a criminal allegation has been made
- Arrange a formal Allegations Against Staff and Volunteers meeting if necessary and outline how the allegation will be progressed ensuring all parties are kept informed.
- Monitor all allegations until fully concluded which may include disciplinary action, referral to regulatory body and/or referral to the Disclosure Barring Service (DBS).
The RSCP provides training on Managing Allegations Against Staff and Volunteers – see the Training Flyer.
Contact details for the Redbridge LADO:
Telephone: 020 8708 5350 Email: Lado@redbridge.gov.uk