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5.2 Allegations Against Staff, Carers and Volunteers


Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Definitions
  3. Criteria
  4. Roles and Responsibilities
  5. Recognising and Responding to an Allegation
  6. LADO - Advice and Guidance
  7. Strategy Discussion
  8. Allegation Management Meeting
  9. Reviewing Progress
  10. Resignations and "Compromise Agreements"
  11. Internal Disciplinary Process or Assessment Regarding Suitability
  12. Sharing Information for Disciplinary Purposes
  13. Record Keeping
  14. Action on Conclusion of a Case
  15. Whistleblowing
  16. Self-Employed and Commissioning Arrangements
  17. Cross Border Issues


1. Introduction

These procedures should be used by all organisations providing services for children, including those who provide staff or volunteers to work with or care for children.

Rotherham MBC has appointed a designated officer (Local Authority Designated Officer – LADO) to oversee the investigation of all allegations and to maintain detailed records of their conduct and the outcomes.


2. Definitions

This procedure is intended to provide guidance relevant to a wide range of situations in which an allegation or concern arises about the conduct of a person who ‘works’ with children. Reference to children within this document is intended to include anyone who has not yet reached their 18th birthday.

For the purposes of these procedures the definition of ‘work’ includes the following:

  • Those in paid employment, including temporary, casual, and agency staff;
  • Individuals undertaking unpaid voluntary work;
  • Individuals who are self-employed and work directly, or are contracted to work in the provision of services to children;
  • People who have incidental contact with children as part of their role, such as school caretakers or cleaners;
  • Foster Carers under the regulation of Independent Fostering Agencies or Local Authority;
  • Taxi Drivers, minibus, limousine and coach drivers;
  • Prospective adopters or adult members of their household (standard 22 Adoption: national minimum standards July 2014).

A useful test for deciding upon the applicability of these procedures is to consider whether the individual subject to the allegation or concern occupies a “position of trust” – in that sense this potentially includes a broad range of circumstances and scenarios whereby children may be abused by adults who seek, through work activity or within their personal lives to exploit their position of power and trust or present a risk to children.

It is important that consideration is not only given the title of the role but rather identify the exact contact that the employee/ volunteer has with children and young people in their role.

Allegations against people who work with children are not dealt with in isolation. The needs and welfare of all children connected or having an association with an alleged perpetrator or person posing a potential risk will be considered as part of the investigation. Safeguarding the welfare of children will be prioritised. For more information see Referring Safeguarding Concerns about Children procedure.


3. Criteria

This procedure should be applied when there is an allegation 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 that they may pose a risk of harm to children;
  • Behave in way outside of work or employment which may cause risk of harm to those children with who they work or are in contact with.

Here are some broad examples of situations which raise safeguarding concerns in which LADO procedure would be invoked:

  • Contravened or has continued to contravene any safe practice guidance given by his/her organisation or regulatory body;
  • Exploited or abused a position of power;
  • Failed to understand or recognise the need for clear personal and professional boundaries in his/her work;
  • Behaved in a way in his/her personal life which could put children at risk of harm;
  • Become the subject of criminal proceedings relating to a child or adult which may indicate risk to children, e.g. Assault, domestic violence, sexual offences against adults;
  • Become subject to Section 47 enquiries under child protection procedures.

There may be up to 3 strands in considering a concern or an allegation:

  • A police investigation of a criminal offence;
  • Enquiries and assessment of by Children and Young People’s Social Care Services about whether a child or young person is in need of protection or is in need of services;
  • Consideration by an employer of disciplinary or other action in respect of the individual.

If an allegation relating to a child is made about a person who undertakes paid or unpaid care of Vulnerable Adults, consideration should be given to the possible need to alert those who manage her/him in that role. For more information see South Yorkshire Safeguarding Adults Procedures.


4. Roles and Responsibilities

4.1 Role of the LADO

The statutory guidance contained within Working Together (2015) mandates local authority children’s services to provide a Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) who should be involved in the management and oversight of individual cases, and undertake other complimentary activity to ensure that cases are dealt with as quickly as possible, consistent with a thorough and fair process.

The core expectations of the LADO role are to:

  • Provide advice and guidance to employers and facilitate an initial discussion to gather further information and define concerns about allegations;
  • Liaise with the Police and other relevant agencies;
  • Monitor the progress of cases to ensure they are dealt with as quickly as possible, consistent with a thorough and fair process;
  • Seek to resolve any inter-agency issues;
  • Collate, analyse and present strategic data for the purposes of periodic reporting to the RLSCB and Department for Education (DfE);
  • Attend, or provide other appropriate contribution to Section 47 enquiries or Strategy meetings;
  • Agree an internal single agency course of action to be followed when appropriate e.g. disciplinary investigation;
  • Facilitate communication with relevant regulatory bodies, e.g. Ofsted, Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC), National College of Teaching and Leadership (NCTL), Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS);
  • Bring about the involvement of other key individuals/agencies, e.g. sports sector governing bodies;
  • Undertake liaison with other LADO’s where cross authority border issues exist;
  • Seek to ensure that the appropriate actions have been taken following the conclusion of an investigation, e.g. referral to the Disclosure and Barring Service;
  • Provide advice and guidance to all partner agencies;
  • Maintain an oversight of investigatory processes falling within the scope of the role until conclusion which may include outcomes of either criminal /disciplinary processes;
  • Consider using the Safeguarding Children and Young People Involved in Organised or Multiple Abuse, and other Complex Investigations Procedure where there are a number of concurrent criminal or allegations investigations related by child/ren, type, geography, institution or other common factor.

The role of LADO is critical to these procedures, as are other designated roles referred to below. All agencies are responsible for establishing their own robust procedures and systems which are consistent with the requirements and guidance set out in Working Together (2015).

Concerns or allegations about the behaviour of an adult in the children’s workforce may arise in a variety of sources, for example:

  • An allegation made directly by a child or parent/carer;
  • An allegation made by a colleague or member of staff;
  • Information from the Police or Children’s Social Care e.g. information arising from child protection enquiries about a worker’s own children;
  • Information from a third party or member of the public;
  • Information disclosed anonymously or online;
  • Concerns generated through an employment relationship.

The Rotherham Local Safeguarding Children Board (RLSCB) has responsibility for ensuring there are effective inter-agency procedures in place for dealing with allegations against people who work with children and for monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of those procedures.

In order to do this, each LSCB member organisation should identify a named senior officer with overall responsibility for:

  • Ensuring that the organisation operates these procedures for dealing with allegations;
  • Resolving any inter-agency issues.

4.2 The Local Authority

Rotherham MBC has appointed a local authority designated officer (LADO) who will:

  • Be involved in the management and oversight of individual cases;
  • Provide advice and guidance to employers and voluntary organisations;
  • Liaise with the Police, Children’s Social Care Services and other agencies;
  • Monitor the progress of cases to ensure that they are dealt with as quickly as possible consistent with a thorough and fair process.

4.3 Partner Agencies

Partner Agencies should:

  • Put in place and operate arrangements for handling allegations in accordance with these procedures;
  • Identify a Senior Manager to whom allegations or concerns should be reported, and a deputy in his/her absence or if he/she is the subject of the allegation. This person will be the initial point of contact with the LADO;
  • Take part in strategy discussions as required (see Section 7, Strategy Discussion);
  • Cooperate with further information gathering.


5. Recognising and Responding to an Allegation

The procedure should be clearly understood by all those who are ‘employed’ or ‘volunteer’ to work with children and it should feature prominently in staff induction, training, supervision and commissioning arrangements.

It should also reflect core principles which evidence a commitment to:

  • Maintaining the interests and welfare of the child as paramount;
  • Being appropriately supportive to the worker who is subject to the allegation;
  • Seeking as early a resolution as is possible subject to a thorough and fair process; and
  • Maintaining and promoting a safer recruitment and safer care culture

All employees should be aware of their responsibility for reporting any concerns or information to a named senior manager.

In Education this role is referred to as Case Manager in in statutory guidance for schools and FE colleges - Keeping Children Safe in Education - Statutory guidance for schools and colleges. This document is very specific about reporting restrictions to prevent the identification of any teacher about to whom an allegation has been made. Reference should be made to this document if information is likely to have been made public or widely shared.

The designated Senior Manager (or person referring the allegation) should not investigate the matter by interviewing the accused person, the child or potential witnesses, and should:

  • Obtain written details of the allegation, signed and dated by the person receiving the allegation (not the child/person making the allegation);
  • Countersign and date the written record;
  • Record any other information about times dates and location of incident(s) and names of any potential witnesses;
  • Record discussions about the child and/or member of staff, any decisions made, and the reasons for those decisions.

All allegations or concerns that meet threshold for referral must be referred to the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) immediately and at least within one working day. The Senior Manager should complete a Multi-Agency Referral Form (MARF) and follow the safeguarding procedures in relation to the Referring Safeguarding Concerns about Children Procedure. In cases where there is no direct link to a child or young person, the LADO Referral Form should be completed and sent directly to the MASH within one working day.

The MASH will screen the information of the child/ren who may be the victim and any other children associated with the alleged perpetrator to determine whether immediate actions need to be taken to safeguard these children.

Where the alleged perpetrator and/or victim reside in Rotherham, Rotherham’s MASH will screen both the alleged perpetrator and / or victim. If either resides in another area, an additional referral will need to be made to that area’s MASH / duty team.

Where a potential victim is known to Children’s Social Care and has an allocated social worker a referral must still be made to the MASH for initial screening. The MASH will make an immediate contact with the LADO who will gather information to determine whether the allegation reaches the threshold for investigation under LADO procedures.

If a concern or an allegation requiring immediate attention is received outside normal office hours the designated Senior Manager should consult immediately with Children’s Social Care Out of Hours team or South Yorkshire Police who will make ensure that the LADO is informed the next working day. A MARF must still be completed.

The following practice and principles will be applied:

  • All new referrals in relation to LADO come into MASH – see Referring Safeguarding Concerns about Children Procedure;
  • MASH will create a contact and this is then sent electronically to the LADO;
  • Where it is not clear that the referral has met the threshold for LADO, a Multi-Agency Information Sharing Meeting is held within 1 working day to make a decision around next steps meeting;
  • The LADO and MASH should have a discussion and reach an agreement as to the direction of planning and analysis of information;
  • If the referral meets LADO threshold, the MASH Team Manager/ LADO will consider if this will be an internal or external investigation An internal investigation is one which is undertaken by the employing agency. An external investigation would also involve either / and / or the Police or Children’s Social Care Services;
  • If the contact is in relation to advice and guidance (no role for MASH at this stage), MASH will direct this through to the LADO;
  • If children are known to have contact with the adult in the allegation, the MASH Team Manager will open up a child contact/referral;
  • The LADO will give feedback to referrer (professional) to ensure the direction of planning and a rationale for this meeting/not meeting the LADO threshold within 24 hours. If there is nothing at that point to feed back this should in any case be conveyed to the referrer;
  • A MASH Social Worker will complete all screening (child and adult including alleged perpetrator’s children/ associations with children) before the LADO meeting.


6. LADO - Advice and Guidance

The Senior Manager of any organisation can seek advice and guidance directly from the LADO, for instance to determine whether an allegation would meet the threshold for a LADO referral or investigation. If it does meet the threshold, the LADO will then direct the Senior Manager to complete a MARF.

In cases where there is no direct link to a child or young person, the LADO Referral Form will be completed and sent directly to the MASH within one working day.

Where LADO threshold is met, the LADO will notify the Employer/Designated Manager about the allegations made against an employee.


7. Strategy Discussion

If the MASH screening suggests that there is cause to suspect that a child is suffering or is likely to suffer significant harm a Strategy Discussion in relation to the child or children should be held straight away. The LADO should be invited.

For more information see Strategy Discussions/Meetings Procedure.

The Strategy Discussion will determine whether the threshold for Significant Harm has been reached and whether to initiate Section 47 Enquiries And Child Protection Procedures – for more information see Section 47 Enquiries.

The police must be informed about any case in which a criminal offence involving a child may have been committed.

If the Significant Harm threshold is not reached, but a police investigation might be needed, the LADO should tell the Police immediately and initiate an initial evaluation discussion with the Police, employer and other agencies involved with the child to evaluate the complaint or allegation and decide how it should be dealt with.

Where it is clear that the LADO threshold is met and there is a clearly identified perpetrator, the see Section 8, Allegations Management Meeting can be convened to immediately follow the strategy meeting. In these instances, details relating specifically to the alleged perpetrator would not be recorded on the child’s file, but would be kept on the Liquid Logic Allegations Workspace.

Alternatively, in other circumstances the Allegations Management Meeting may be convened entirely separately to allow for further information gathering to be completed.


8. Allegation Management Meeting

The LADO will chair the Allegation Management Meeting and the participants should be sufficiently senior to contribute all relevant available information about the child/ren at risk of significant harm and the alleged perpetrator and to make decisions on behalf of their agencies.

At all points the appropriate and proportionate actions in respect of the employee will be discussed to ensure that no child is placed at further risk from the alleged perpetrator. This should include a discussion between the LADO and the (Designated Senior Manager) and the Human Resources (HR) Manager as to whether the employee should be suspended pending the outcome of the LADO investigation.

Suspension from duty should be considered in any case where:

  • There is cause to suspect a child is at risk of significant harm; or
  • The allegation warrants investigation by the Police; or
  • The allegation is so serious that it might be grounds for dismissal.

If immediate suspension is considered necessary, the rationale and justification for such a course of action should be agreed and recorded by the senior manager/referrer/HR and the LADO. This should also include what alternatives to suspension have been considered and why they were rejected.

Suspension should not be seen as an automatic response to an allegation and in all cases should be individually considered. The power to suspend is invested in the employer only, or in the case of schools and Further Education (FE) colleges with the Head Teacher or Principal and the Governing body. In addition, the employing organisation should always also seek HR advice and guidance when suspension is being considered.

The meeting must include:

  • Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) if not chair;
  • Relevant social worker and his/her manager;
  • Supervising social worker and his/her manager when an allegation is made against a foster carer;
  • Designated Liaison Officer from the Police;
  • Designated Senior Manager for the employer/establishment concerned;
  • Senior representative of the employment agency or voluntary organisation. The meeting may also include:
    • Those responsible for regulation and inspection where applicable, e.g. OFSTED;
    • Human Resources representatives as appropriate;
    • A medical practitioner with an appropriate area of specialist knowledge;
    • Where a child is placed by or resident in the area of another local authority, a representative of that authority;
    • Complaints officer if the concern has arisen from a complaint or a complaint investigation is in progress;
    • A representative of the legal department of the local authority;
    • Commissioning Representative;
    • Licensing in the event of allegations about a Taxi Driver, or other licensed person.

The initial Allegations Management Meeting should ensure that the following issues have been considered:

  • Review any previous concerns or allegations about the conduct of the accused person;
  • Determine whether a Police investigation is to take place;
  • Consider whether any parallel Human Resources disciplinary or other process should take place;
  • Scope and plan enquiries;
  • Allocate tasks;
  • Set time-scales;
  • Decide what information can be shared, with whom and when;
  • Consider what support should be provided to the person against whom the allegation has been made and others who might have been affected;
  • Ensure that investigations are sufficiently independent;
  • Make appropriate arrangements to inform the child's parents, and consider how to provide them with support and information during enquiries;
  • If the allegation is about physical contact between an adult and child, the strategy discussion or initial evaluation should take account of any entitlement by staff in certain professions to use reasonable force to control or restrain children in certain circumstances e.g. Section 550A Education Act 1996 in respect of teachers and authorised school staff.


9. Reviewing Progress

The LADO will regularly monitor the progress of cases by liaising with the Police and/or Children’s Social Care Services and all partner agencies at least monthly. Review meetings will be booked within the appropriate timescale if known. In cases where the conclusion has no pre-determined timescale, the LADO will book a review meeting at 3 months.

The LADO will use the appropriate escalation process to ensure children are protected. For more information see 3.5 Practice Resolution Protocol: Resolving Professional Differences of Opinion in Multi-Agency working with Children and their Families.

The LADO will keep comprehensive records in order to ensure that each case is being dealt with expeditiously and that there are no undue delays.

The Police can consult the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) at any stage about the evidence needed to charge a person, but they should also set target dates for reviewing the progress of the investigation and consulting the CPS about charging, continuing or closing the investigation.

All investigations will be concluded by means of formal Allegations Management Meeting or telephone discussions confirmed by email. The investigation can only be concluded when all tasks have been completed and a clear outcome is reached.


10. Resignations and "Compromise Agreements"

The fact that a person tenders his or her resignation or ceases to provide their services must not prevent an allegation from being followed up in accordance with these procedures and a conclusion reached.

A so called “compromise agreement” by which a person agrees to resign, the employer agrees not to pursue disciplinary action and both agree a form of words to be used in any future reference must not be used in circumstances which are relevant to these procedures.

In any event, such an agreement will not prevent a thorough police investigation where appropriate; or contact with regulators, professional or governing bodies or commissioners.

Wherever possible the person should be given a full opportunity to answer the allegation and make representations about the allegation. The investigation should continue to a conclusion even if that cannot be done or the person refuses to cooperate. The employer and / or Human Resources (HR) needs to inform the employee of the implications for future employment if the allegation remains unresolved.


11. Internal Disciplinary Process or Assessment Regarding Suitability

The LADO and the designated Senior Manager should discuss and agree what action is appropriate in those cases where:

  • There is agreement that Police or Children’s Social Care Services involvement are not necessary;
  • The employer and LADO are informed by the Police or the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) that a criminal investigation and any subsequent trial is complete or that an investigation is to be closed without charge or a prosecution discontinued.

The internal disciplinary investigation should consider any potential misconduct or gross misconduct on the part of a staff member and take into account:

  • Information provided by the Police and/or Children’s Social Care Services;
  • The result of any investigation or trial and the different standard of proof in disciplinary and criminal proceedings.

The options will range from no further action to summary dismissal or not using the person’s services in future.

Where it is decided that the allegation does not involve a possible criminal offence, the allegation will be dealt with by the employer who, within 3 working days, should institute appropriate action which may include a disciplinary hearing.

If a disciplinary hearing is required and it can be held without further investigation, the hearing should be held within 15 working days.

Where further investigation is needed to decide upon disciplinary action, the employer and the LADO should discuss who should undertake it.

In some circumstances it may be appropriate for the disciplinary investigation to be conducted by a person who is independent of the employer or person’s line management to ensure objectivity. This can be discussed with the LADO. In any case the investigating officer should aim to provide a report within 10 working days. On receipt of the report, the employer should decide within 2 working days whether a disciplinary hearing is needed and if so it should be held within 15 working days.


12. Sharing Information for Disciplinary Purposes

If the Police or CPS decide not to charge or decide to administer a caution, or the person is acquitted, the Police should pass all relevant information to the employer without delay.

If the person is convicted, the Police should inform the employer straight away so that appropriate action can be taken, which might include dismissal or referral to DBS and / or statutory regulatory bodies.

The employment record will provide accurate information for any future reference and provide clarification if a future Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check reveals an allegation that did not result in a prosecution or a conviction. It will prevent unnecessary re-investigation if the allegation should resurface.

The employer / HR should share with the employee that an allegation is being considered under LADO unless this would either place the child / young person at risk, interfere with an ongoing Police investigation. In the event the employee is not being informed, the rationale for this decision needs to be recorded by the employer and the LADO. This would be reviewed at all Allegation Management Meetings and considered during the information sharing/ screening process.


13. Record Keeping

Each Partner agency will have internal guidance in relation to record keeping e.g. (Keeping children safe in education: Statutory guidance for schools and colleges -Section 132); Adoption National Minimum Standards July 2014 - standard 22.7).

Irrespective of sector requirements, it is essential that the LADO retains a record to show how the matter had been dealt with, and the rationale for the outcome. Records of all allegation of a safeguarding nature which are made against people working with children are retained for 100 years from the date of the allegation.

Records should be kept and maintained at every stage of the process thus ensuring decisions are made on full, accurate and up to-date information and the rationale for those decisions can be traced, scrutinised and justified where necessary. Records will kept confidentially on the Liquid Logic system Allegations Workspace which is a discrete separate area of the Rotherham local authority information system which is accessible on a need to know basis by identified members of the Safeguarding Team and MASH. The Adult’s file can be cross referenced with a child’s file but no confidential information unrelated to the child will appear on the child’s electronic record. The Social worker for the child is responsible for placing a case note within the electronic record to clarify that a LADO referral has been made.

Clear and comprehensive records will:

  • Enable accurate information to be given in response to any future request for a reference (employers must have regard to sector guidance and HR advice in this regard);
  • Provide clarification in cases where a future DBS disclosure reveals information from the Police that an allegation was made but did not result in a prosecution or conviction;
  • Prevent unnecessary re-investigation if an allegation resurfaces after a period of time; and
  • Be an essential part of any necessary referral to the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) (see GOV.UK DBS barring referral form) or other regulatory bodies.

Accurate record keeping and retention also allows for patterns of behaviour which may pose a risk to children to be identified.

Requests to any organisation by person’s subject to current or previous allegations for copies of minutes of Allegation Management Meetings under Data Protection Act 1998 (see Information Commissioner’s Office - Subject Access Request) must be referred to the Chairperson of the Allegations Management Meeting for appropriate consideration and approval. Records will be redacted to remove third party information.


14. Action on Conclusion of a Case

Following the conclusion of relevant investigatory activities it will be necessary to decide upon an outcome. Current national guidance relating to terminology and definition is contained within Keeping children safe in education: Statutory guidance for schools and colleges - Para 112.

The LADO will apply the following definitions when determining the outcome of allegation investigations:

  • Substantiated: there is sufficient evidence to prove the allegation;
  • Unsubstantiated: there is insufficient evidence to either to prove or disprove the allegation. The term, therefore, does not imply guilt or innocence;
  • False: there is sufficient evidence to disprove the allegation;
  • Malicious: there is sufficient evidence to disprove the allegation and there has been a deliberate act to deceive;
  • Unfounded: there is no evidence or proper basis which supports the allegation being made. It might also indicate that the person making the allegation misinterpreted the incident or was mistaken about what they saw. Alternatively they may not have been aware of all the circumstances. There was no evidence that a child/children had been harmed but there were concerns regarding performance/conduct and these should be addressed by the employer.

If the allegation is substantiated and the person concerned is dismissed for reasons of misconduct which harmed a child, or placed a child at risk of harm, or because they consider the person is a risk of harm to children, (or the employer ceases to use the person’s services for the same reason, or the person resigns during the course of the investigation and this cannot be completed), then there is a statutory duty on the employer to make a referral to the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) (see GOV.UK DBS barring referral form).

This is irrespective of whether the evidence is such that the employer or LADO feel that the case is likely or unlikely to result in the individual being barred from working with children. If the person is subject to registration or regulation by a professional body, e.g. Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC), National College of Teaching and Leadership (NCTL), General Medical Council, OFSTED etc., the LADO should advise on whether a referral to that body is appropriate.

If, however, it is decided upon the conclusion of a case that a person who has been suspended (or otherwise removed from routine duties) can return to normal work duties, then the employer should consider how that might be best facilitated and recognise the likely need for strategies of support and re-integration. Issues associated with renewed or future contact between the worker and child initiating the allegation should also be considered and appropriate steps taken to effectively manage the situation and any potential difficulties.

At the conclusion of a case in which an allegation is substantiated, the LADO should review the circumstances of the case with the senior manager to determine whether there are any improvements to be made to the organisation’s procedures or practice to help prevent or respond to similar events in the future.


15. Whistleblowing

All staff should be made aware of their organisation’s whistleblowing policy and the RLSCB Whistleblowing or Raising Concerns at Work Procedure and should feel confident to voice concerns about actions or attitudes of colleagues. Therefore all partner agency whistleblowing policies should specifically reference safeguarding issues. If a member of staff believes that a reported allegation or concern is not being dealt with appropriately by their organisation, then s/he should contact the LADO directly.

It is important that organisations’ policies relating to the management of allegations and ‘whistle blowing’ are cross referenced and accessible to all members of staff. They should be seen as significant components of a Safer Recruitment culture. For more information see Safer Recruitment and Employment Procedure.


16. Self-Employed and Commissioning Arrangements

Occasionally allegations or concerns will arise that relate to individuals who are not contractually or directly linked to a line management structure and/or conventional HR arrangements, e.g. providers of tuition in the home. It is important that the response to these situations is as robust as they would be for other sectors of the children’s workforce. An Allegations Management Meeting would generally be required in such circumstances.

Similarly, there will be an assumption that any organisation which is commissioning the service(s) being provided (e.g. school transport) will assume the responsibilities normally associated with that of ‘employer’. The LADO will take a prominent role in identifying any additional commissioning organisations or other potential children at risk, and bring about the participation of third sector, faith and regulatory bodies where relevant. The LADO will take further key responsibility in co-ordinating cross border activity.


17. Cross Border Issues

Some allegations or concerns will reflect circumstances which are not solely located within the boundaries of this local authority. For example, a worker may be employed within one local authority, undertake voluntary work in another, and live with his/her children in a third area.

Where the alleged perpetrator and/or victim reside in Rotherham, Rotherham’s MASH will screen both the alleged perpetrator and / or victim. If either resides in another area, an additional referral will need to be made to that area’s MASH / duty team.

In all cases professional judgments and negotiations will need to take place between the respective LADO’s in terms of who should take the lead responsibility in co-ordinating the investigation.

As a general rule the lead role will be taken by:

  • The local authority where the subject has substantive employment;
  • For the self-employed, the local authority where he/she resides;
  • For the volunteer – the local authority for the area where he/she has a substantive role or area in which he/she resides;
  • For agency/supply staff – the local authority who currently employs the person;
  • For multiple subjects/’victims’ – the local authority in which the concerns have arisen (e.g. Residential establishment);
  • In cases where a Rotherham Looked After child young person has made a complaint or an allegation, the social worker to inform and update the Rotherham LADO. The LADO will have discussions with their counterpart to ensure process is followed and the Looked After Child or young person is safeguarded.

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