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When and how to report a concern

As outlined in the Government's statutory guidelines Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018, the Managing Allegations procedures should be followed if a volunteer or member of staff who is in a ‘position of trust’ and works with children is alleged to have:

  • 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 they may pose a risk of harm to children
  • behaved in a manner in their private lives that might indicate any of the above conditions. 

If you have concerns regarding someone who is in a ‘position of trust’ and works with a child, including foster carers and volunteers, these should be reported to the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO). It is a statutory requirement to do this within 1 working day. You can contact the Designated Officer's for the Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole area at:

Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO)

This applies to all adults within a ‘position of trust’, whether they are paid, unpaid, volunteers, casual, agency employees or anyone working in a self-employed capacity.

Although some significant concerns may not meet the threshold listed above they may still require investigations and ‘position of trust’ meetings to take place with other professional agencies. If in doubt contact the LADO for guidance. 

In addition, some concerns may relate to transference of risk or suitability, whereby inappropriate behaviour in a professional’s private life, may pose concerns of children being at risk within their professional job roles.

Please note that the person referring the concern to the LADO should not undertake their own investigations with the individual or setting of concern, unless directed by the LADO, as this may interfere with or compromise subsequent criminal or social care investigations.

In an emergency, or if you believe a child is at immediate risk of harm, you should call the police via 999.

Other useful contacts for reporting safeguarding concerns

Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) for concerns involving children. Find our:

Adult social care for concerns relating to vulnerable adults. Find our: