Safeguarding and welfare requirements
1.10 Managing allegations of abuse against adults who work with children
or volunteer in a childcare setting
The Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) Unit has responsibility for ensuring that all allegations against adults working with children in Cambridgeshire are managed in accordance with Appendix 5, Working together to safeguard children 2010 and Cambridgeshire LSCB procedures
This relates to all cases in which it is alleged that an adult who works with children in any capacity (paid or voluntary) has
Behaved in a way that has harmed, or may harm, 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 s/he is unsuitable to work with children
What should be referred to the LADO Unit?
The setting should think carefully about the criteria in the box above and whether the
allegation falls into one or more of the three categories of 'harm', 'crime' or 'unsuitability'.
. initially it is often far from clear how serious the allegation is.
. lf there is any doubt whether an allegation reaches the threshold for referral, in line with the criteria outlined above, the Early Years (EY) Named Senior Officer should be contacted for advice.
What action should I take on hearing an allegation against an adult who works with children?
There are likely to be two parallel processes, one relating to the management of the
allegation against the adult(s), and the other focusing on the child(ren).
Follow the procedure on the flowchart poster sent to all childcare settings: ‘Allegations of abuse against adults who work or volunteer in a childcare
setting...what to do'.
It is equally important to ensure the safety of the child(ren) concerned, to ensure a medical assessment intervention, as needed, and to secure any forensic evidence. All actions and discussions should be accurately recorded. At this stage the welfare and safeguarding of the child(ren) are Paramount.
It is important that the person to whom the allegation is disclosed listens carefully and accurately records what has been said. There must be no discussion, particularly not with the alleged perpetrator(s) and no attempts to investigate the matter. Any such action may potentially undermine future formal investigations.
How do I refer an allegation?
inform the Registered Person* who should
. Notify Ofsted
.Contact the Early Years Named Senior Officer. and give details of the allegation and all actions taken.
The Early Years Named Senior officer will discuss the issues with the LADO unit who will make a decision about all further action required.
If the Early Years Named Senior Officer is not immediately available, the setting should contact the LADO Unit direct.
lf the Registered Person is the alleged perpetrator, the person informed of the allegation should seek advice immediately from the EY Named Senior Officer without alerting the perpetrator.
How your referral will be taken forward
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 services
. Consideration by an employer of disciplinary action in respect of the individual.
Guidance about information sharing
The LADO Unit will give guidance about what the adult should be told, at what stage and by whom.
It is important to give due consideration to the confidentiality of the adult and therefore details of the matter should not be disclosed or discussed with colleagues or outside agencies.
The LADO Unit will advise what information should be disclosed to the child(ren)'s family.
It is important not to compromise any formal investigation or breach confidentiality by staff disclosing information in an unplanned way without due consideration under allegations procedures.
What happens next?
lf the allegation leads to a police investigation, the LADO Unit will chair a series of
Complex Strategy Meetings (CSM). The focus of a CSM is on the adult(s) against whom the allegation has been made. Depending on the circumstances of the case, the LADO Unit will decide who is to attend the meeting, probably including: the employer, The Early Years Named Senior Officer, Ofsted, police and Children's Social Care. Alleged perpetrators do not attend CSMs.
The full meeting notes must never be shared with the alleged perpetrator, the LADO Unit will prepare a redacted summary with third party information removed. If this is required.
It is important that as much information as possible about the adult is available to the
CSM. This is essential in order to assess risk appropriately. The LADO Unit therefore
needs details in writing, prior to a CSM, of the accounts of the allegation taken at the time, of the adults records in terms of any previous allegations or concerns (if known),
and how these were dealt with, of any training undertaken and when, of any other issues with the child or person making the allegation, and so on.
The adult may be suspended from working or volunteering in their setting, pending the outcome of police or internal enquiries and it will be agreed during the CSM how and by whom the adult is offered appropriate support during the process.
What happens following the investigation?
The outcome of a police investigation may be a prosecution.
lf there is no further action resulting from the police investigation, or a police investigation was not required, then the employer of the adult will undertake an internal investigation. This will identify what disciplinary action, if any, is required. Decisions may ‘include, for example, immediate re-instatement of the adult, additional training, management advice and support, a formal warning or dismissal and de-registration (if applicable). Support and advice for the employer can be obtained if required from the Early Years Childcare Sufficiency Team.
lf the outcome of the internal investigation is that the adult is dismissed then a referral
must be made to the independent Safeguarding Authority which manages the lists barring adults from working with children.
The LADO Unit will retain records of the entire process.
Useful contact numbers:
Early Years Named Senior Officer 01223 714760 Or 07876 038762
Janet Farr (LADO) 01223 727967
Rebecca Boswell 01223 727969
Manager-Adults who pose a risk to children
Cambridgeshire LADO UNIT 01223 727967