Allegations against adults working with children and young people - including the role of the local authority designated officer (LADO)

Children can be subjected to abuse by those who work with them in any and every 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

Working Together to Safeguard Children (2015) sets out procedures for managing allegations against people who work with children (including adults working in the private, voluntary and independent sector). The procedures also manage concerns about adults where there is an indication they may pose a risk of harm to children.

The procedures are used in all cases in which it is alleged that an adult 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
  • behaved towards a child or children in a way that indicates they may pose a risk of harm to children

Employer’s procedures should identify a senior manager within their organisation to whom all allegations or concerns should be reported. Staff and volunteers should be made aware of who this person is, and who the designated alternative is, to contact in the absence of this person. If the allegation (or concern) meets any of the criteria above the employer should report it to the LADO within one working day.

Please take note of the following Do’s and Donts when dealing with an allegation

  • Check with the person making the allegation very basic facts like; who? when?, where?
  • Contact the LADO (within one working day or immediately in urgent cases)
  • Take all allegations seriously
  • Interview or take statements from the adult, child or anyone else involved
  • Inform the adult until advised to do so by the LADO
  • Delay in contacting the LADO. Agencies may need to take action straight away

The role of the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO)

The LADO works for Childrens Services and is responsible for:
  • providing management and oversight of individual cases
  • liaising with the employer, police and children’s services
  • monitoring the progress of cases ensuring they are dealt with in a fair, consistent and thorough way

If you need to report an allegation or concern

If you need to report and allegation or concern about an adult who works with children you should, in the first instance, ask to speak to the Senior Manager who is designated to deal with allegations.

The LADO can be contacted on Luton 548069 or via email on

If you are unable to contact the LADO please call the Rapid Inteverntion and Assessment Team on 01582 547653

For further information please go to:  to view Chapter 30 of the Interagency Child Protection Procedures ‘Bedford Borough, Central Bedfordshire and Luton Local Safeguarding Children Board Procedures for Managing Allegations and Concerns regarding Staff, Carers and Volunteers working with Children and Young People