All allegations made against staff (including volunteers and foster carers) that call into question their suitability to work with or be in a position of trust with children, whether made about events in their private or professional life, need to be formally recorded on a LADO Referral form and sent to the Designated Officer, formerly known as Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO).
The referral form, in Resources below, must be filled in for every case where it is alleged that a person working with children has:
- Behaved in a way that has harmed 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 would pose a risk of harm to children
Whilst it will not be necessary to convene a Strategy Meeting with Social Care and the Police on every case, every incident should be recorded on this form and reported to the Designated Officer as well as the Integrated Referral Hub. All referrals should be discussed with the Designated Officer below and followed up on a referral form.
The current LADO in Lambeth is
Andrew Zachariades on 020 7926 4679 or 07720 828 700 or email LADO@lambeth.gov.uk (secure).
- the form MUST be completed and sent to the Designated Officer within 24 hours of the incident occurring. If you are not sure whether a particular matter warrants a referral, make contact with the Designated Officer within 24 hours and they will be able to advise you on the correct action to take.
- if you’re dealing with an out of borough LADO referral, you should discuss it with the LADO in Lambeth in order for our LADO to check the other borough’s work.
See the flow chart for an overview of the process:
The procedures for the management of allegations against members of staff are contained in the London Child Protection Procedures 2016 section 7.
Management Structures and Roles:
Every agency must have a designated Named Senior Officer and a Senior Manager who have received appropriate training or briefing in action to be taken when an allegation is made against a member of staff.
NSPCC Whistleblowing Helpline
The helpline provides support to employees wishing to raise concerns over how child protection issues are being handled in their own or other organisations.
The NSPCC Whistleblowing Advice Line can be reached on 0800 028 0285.
The advice line is not intended to replace any current practices or responsibilities of organisations working with children. The helpline advisors would encourage professionals to raise any concerns about a child to their own employer in the first instance. However, the advice line offers an alternative route if whistleblowing internally is difficult or professionals have concerns around how matters are being handled.
More information on the helpline is available on the NSPCC website.
Ofsted Whistleblowing policy and guidance
‘Whistleblowing to Ofsted about children's social care services’ (published January 2016) policy and guidance outlines what Ofsted will do when they receive certain concerns about children’s social care services from a whistleblower. The policy extends to all matters relating to the inspection and regulation of children’s social care establishments, agencies, services and providers (children’s social care services).
You can also find useful information at: https://www.gov.uk/whistleblowing
If you dismiss or remove a person from regulated activity (or may have done so had they not left)’ because they have harmed or posed a risk of harm to a child or vulnerable adult, then you have a LEGAL duty to refer the person to the DBS.
The DBS’ role is to make barring decisions about people who are referred to it (usually following an employer’s disciplinary process), with the possible consequence of the person being barred from working or volunteering with children and/or vulnerable adults. The DBS uses a fair, thorough and consistent process that ensures that the decision it reaches is both proportionate and appropriate to the risk the person poses to children or vulnerable adults.
Please call their Helpline on 01325 953795 for information or advice.
The procedures for the management of allegations against members of staff are contained in the London Child Protection Procedures section 7
Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) website which provides a range of materials to help you to consider or make a referral. This includes a Referral Form, Referral Guidance, FAQs and a series of Fact Sheets.
Recruitment of staff:
NSPCC Whistleblowing Advice Line: 0800 028 0285