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Designated Officer (formerly LADO)

The role of the Designated Officer, or DO, (formerly known as the Local Authority Designated Officer, or LADO) is set out in the Government's Working Together to Safeguard Children (2015) and is governed by the Authorities' duties under section 11 of the Children Act 2004 and London Child Protection Procedures Chapter 7: Allegations against staff or volunteers who work with children. 

This guidance outlines procedures for managing allegations against people who work with children who are paid, unpaid, volunteers, casual, agency or anyone self-employed.

The DO must be contacted within one working day in respect of all cases in which it is alleged that a person 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.

There may be up to three strands in the consideration of an allegation:

  • A police investigation of a possible criminal offence.
  • Enquiries and assessment by children’s social care about whether a child is in need of protection or in need of services.
  • Consideration by an employer of disciplinary action in respect of the individual.

The DO responsible for:

  • providing advice, information and guidance to employers and voluntary organisations around allegations and concerns regarding paid and unpaid workers
  • managing and overseeing individual cases from all partner agencies.
  • ensuring the child’s voice is heard and that they are safeguarded
  • ensuring there is a consistent, fair and thorough process for all adults working with children and young people against whom an allegation is made
  • monitoring the progress of cases to ensure they are dealt with as quickly as possible
  • recommending a referral and chairing the strategy meeting in cases where the allegation requires investigation by police and/or social care.

The DO is involved from the initial phase of the allegation through to the conclusion of the case. The DO (LADO) is available to discuss any concerns and to assist you in deciding whether you need to make a referral and/or take any immediate management action to protect a child.

This guidance outlines the process: DO Guidance (200KB)

Please email the LADO Team or phone 020 7332 1215.


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