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Allegations against childcare workers - advice for parents

The Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) should be notified when it has been alleged that someone who works with children has:

  • behaved in a way that has harmed, or may harm a child
  • possibly committed a criminal offence against or related to a child
  • behaved towards a child/children in a way that indicates they may pose a risk of harm to children
  • behaved or may behave in a way that indicates they may not be suitable to work with children

The above criteria relates to the adult’s behaviour in the workplace, the community, and in their home and personal life.

Allegations meeting the above criteria should be referred to the LADO within 1 working day using a LADO referral form.

Completed LADO referral forms must be sent by email to: [email protected].

The LADO provides advice and guidance to employers and voluntary organisations. The LADO liaises with police and other agencies and has oversight of all investigations to ensure the process is timely, thorough, and that a fair process is followed.

If there are concerns about someone working or volunteering with children, you can request advice and information by emailing us to request a call back from the LADO on email: [email protected].

The LADO will provide an initial response to the referrer within 1 working day advising the need for further action under the LADO procedures and, where appropriate, include involvement of other sectors including the police, social care, employers and regulatory bodies.

The initial evaluation will focus on the nature of the concern, safeguarding for the particular child and appropriate consideration for the practitioner concerned.

Multi Agency Allegation Meetings are convened by the LADO to manage specific situations.

The LADO chairs the Multi Agency Allegation Meeting. The employer will always attend and other attendees may include Police, Social Care, HR and regulatory bodies such as Ofsted. The adult whom the allegation has been made about does not attend.

The following will be considered in the Multi Agency Allegation Meeting:

  • the allegation details
  • employment details
  • children involved
  • immediate and wider safeguarding concerns
  • the need for;
    • a police investigation of a possible criminal offence
    • children’s social care enquiries and/or assessment about whether a child is in need of protection or services
    • consideration by an employer of disciplinary action

A follow-up Multi Agency Allegation Review Meeting will consider the outcome of the investigation and determine whether the allegation is:

  • substantiated
  • unsubstantiated
  • false
  • malicious
  • unfounded

The LADO will retain a confidential record of the allegation and subsequent actions for future reference.

If further action is necessary under LADO procedures, a LADO Allegation Meeting may be convened.

Each agency will use their own procedures to investigate an allegation.

The LADO will offer guidance around any safeguarding concerns, for example an individual’s contact with children while the allegations are being investigated. In addition to this what information can be shared with you as the parent of the child concerned.

Actions for parents and carers

If you have a concern about a practitioner working or volunteering with children, you should discuss your concerns with the organisation's manager, or relevant senior designated officer for safeguarding. You can use the organisation's whistleblowing procedure or contact the regulatory body for the organisation.

If there are urgent child protection concerns, members of the public should contact the Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) on telephone: 01904 551900.

The LADO in York can be contacted Monday to Friday on email: [email protected], or telephone: 01904 551783.

Outside office hours, at weekends and on public holidays please contact the emergency duty team on telephone: 0300 131 2131.

If a child is at immediate risk of significant harm, call the police on 101 or 999.