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Sheffield Children Safeguarding Partnership

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Allegations of abuse against people who work with children - LADO

The role of the LADO (Local Authority Designated Officer)  is governed by the Local Authorities duties under section 11 of the Children Act 2014 and the statutory duty for all agencies is set out in Working Together to Safeguard Children (2023, Chapter 4, People in positions of trust)

“Any allegation against people who work with children should be reported immediately to a senior manager within the organisation or agency. The designated officer [LADO], or team of officers, 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."

New Referrals to the LADO service are made via Sheffield Safeguarding Hub

For information or assistance from the LADO service, you can ring or email (securely) on: 

LADO Forms

If you have concerns about the behaviour of someone who works with a vulnerable adult go to: Adult Safeguarding

The role of the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO)

The Designated Officer or LADO, as often referred to, is responsible for managing allegations against adults who work with children. This involves working with police, children's social care. employers and other involved professionals. The LADO does not conduct investigations directly, but rather oversees and directs them to ensure thoroughness, timeliness and fairness. Ordinarily, to ensure impartiality, the LADO will not have direct contact with the adult against who the allegation has been made, or the family of the child/children involved but will, as part of their role ensure that these have information regarding outcomes.

This guidance outlines procedures for managing allegations against people who work with children who are paid, unpaid, volunteers, casual, agency or anyone self employed.

The LADO must be contacted within one working day in respect of 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 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.
  • Behaved or may have behaved in a way that indicates they may not be suitable to work with children.

There may be up to three strands in the consideration of an allegation:

  • a police investigation of a possible criminal offence;
  • enquiries and assessment by children’s social care about whether a child is in need of protection or in need of services;
  • consideration by an employer of disciplinary action in respect of the individual.

The LADO is responsible for:

  • Providing advice, information and guidance to employers and voluntary organisations around allegations and concerns regarding paid and unpaid workers.
  • Managing and overseeing individual cases from all partner agencies.
  • Ensuring the child’s voice is heard and that they are safeguarded.
  • Ensuring there is a consistent, fair and thorough process for all adults working with children and young people against whom an allegation is made.
  • Monitoring the progress of cases to ensure they are dealt with as quickly as possible.
  • Recommending a referral and chairing the strategy meeting in cases where the allegation requires investigation by police and/or social care.

The LADO is involved from the initial phase of the allegation through to the conclusion of the case.  The LADO is available to discuss any concerns and to assist you in deciding whether you need to make a referral and/or take any immediate management action to protect a child.

Sheffield resources:


SCSP city-wide policies & procedures:

National guidance:

If you are concerned about a child or young person, follow this link: Referring a safeguarding concern to Children’s Social Care

If you have a query or complaint about the LADO service, please email LADO@sheffield.gov.uk
Or follow the guide on Sheffield city councils website  Complain about Children's Social Care services


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