All allegations of abuse of children by those who work with children must be taken seriously. Allegations against any person who works with children, whether in a paid or unpaid capacity, cover a wide range of circumstances, and may arise from a number of sources (e.g. a report from a child, a concern raised by another adult in the organisation, or a complaint by a parent). It may also arise in the context of the member of staff and their life outside work or at home.
Southampton has a local authority designated officer or LADO to investigate allegations like this. A Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) works within each Local Authority area and is there to support staff across all organisations who work with children and young people if any concerns arise regarding any practitioner who works with children and young people. 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 a child/children
- If a practitioner has concerns regarding the conduct of a colleague then they should in the first instance report this to the Designated Safeguarding Lead within their own organisation, who is required by law to report this concern to the LADO. However, it is important to note that anyone can contact the LADO if they need to do so for advice or support, especially if concerns are regarding the conduct with children and young people of management or holistic organisational practice.
Please contact the LADO for further information or advice:
Phone: 023 8091 5535
Mobile: 07789 616092