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Local authority designated officer (LADO)

All adults who come into contact with children and young people in their work have a duty of care to safeguard and promote their welfare. The vast majority of adults who work with children act professionally and provide a safe environment for children, however there are times when the behaviour of adults can give rise to allegations of abuse being made against them.

Children can be subjected to abuse by those who work with them in any setting. All allegations of abuse or maltreatment of children by a professional, staff member, foster carer, or volunteer must therefore be taken seriously and treated in accordance with consistent procedures.

Warrington Safeguarding Children Board members should have a named senior officer who has overall responsibility for ensuring that the organisation operates procedures for dealing with allegations.  Local Authorities should also designate officers (the Local Authority Designated Officer, or LADO) to be involved in the management and oversight of individual cases – providing advice and guidance to employers and voluntary organisations, liaising with the police and other agencies and monitoring the progress of cases to ensure that they are dealt with as quickly as possible consistent with a thorough and fair process.

If an allegation is made that a professional who is caring for a child has abused them in any way a referral must be made to the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) and a meeting will be arranged to discuss the allegations and ensure that any children involved are safeguarded while investigation are completed.

Professionals from different agencies will meet to discuss concerns and decide what should happen. These are called LADO strategy meetings. The LADO will chair the meetings and make sure that what is decided is carried out.