Torbay Safeguarding Children Partnership

In the event that your organisation receives an allegation of abuse against an adult working for your organisation, either in a paid or unpaid capacity, you have a responsibility to report this to the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO).

What is the LADO?

Every local authority has a statutory responsibility to have a Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) who is responsible for co-ordinating the response to concerns that an adult who works with children may have caused them or could cause them harm. The Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) works within Children’s Services and gives advice and guidance to employers, organisations and other individuals who have concerns about the behaviour of an adult who works with children and young people. Included in this group are volunteers, agency staff and foster carers as well as people who are in a position of authority and have regular contact with children, such as religious leaders, political figures or school governors.

The role of the LADO

  • To coordinate the safeguarding and investigative process in response to allegations made against people working with children.
  • To provide advice/guidance to employers or voluntary organisations.
  • To liaise with police and other agencies including Ofsted and professional bodies such as the General Medical Council and the Teaching Regulatory Agency.
  • To monitor the progress of referrals to ensure they are dealt with as quickly as possible, consistent with a thorough and fair process.
  • To resolve any inter-agency issues.
  • To collect strategic data and maintain a confidential database in relation to allegations.
  • To disseminate learning from LADO enquiries through the children’s workforce.
  • To ensure that measures are in place to prevent further harm or abuse and that where required, referrals are made to the appropriate social care team.

What should be referred to the LADO?

The LADO should be alerted to all cases in which it is alleged that a person who works with children has:

  • Behaved in a way that has harmed a child, 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 he or she 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.

Allegations of historical abuse should be responded in the same way as contemporary concerns. In such cases, it is important to find out whether the person against whom the allegation is made is still working with children and if so, to inform the person’s current employer or voluntary organisation or refer their family for assessment.

Any concern that meets the criteria above should be referred within one working day of the concern coming to your attention. You can do this by completing the notification form below.

Initially, it may be unclear how serious the allegation is. If there is any doubt, you should contact the LADO or lead person for safeguarding in your agency for advice.

Cross-boundary issues

Where a child from the Torbay Local Authority area makes an allegation in a setting or placement which is outside the Torbay Council jurisdiction, the lead responsibility for action lies with the local authority for the area where the alleged abuse occurred where there is most organisational risk.

In these circumstances, the Local Authority Designated Officer and, where appropriate, the child’s social worker, will liaise with the relevant local authority and agree a joint strategy.

Checks should be made as to whether there are any other children in the setting or placement. If so, the child’s social worker and manager must be informed, and the Local Authority Designated Officer should consult them about the action required.

Interviews of children from Torbay Local Authority areas will usually be undertaken by their own local children’s social care services in conjunction with the police as appropriate.

Where the referral relates to a child from another local authority temporarily placed in an establishment located within the Torbay Local Authority area, the Local Authority Designated Officer should liaise with the child’s home authority about the roles and responsibilities in carrying out this procedure.

Report an allegation

Complete the form in all cases where an allegation of abuse is made against a paid employee or volunteer working with children or young people on behalf of your organisation/service. This form can also be used if you are unsure if an allegation meets the LADO criteria and you would like advice and information without giving any personal details. The completed form should be sent to the Safeguarding & Reviewing Unit at Torbay Council by email to

LADO Referral Form

Download and use this form to contact the LADO

LADO Guide for Children and Young People

The document below is a guide for a child or young person who has made an allegation of abuse against an adult carer, member of staff, or volunteer working with children.

LADO Guide for Young People

Leaflet for young people when a LADO referral has been made

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