Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO)

Despite all efforts of organisations to recruit safely, and to ensure people who work with children do so in a way that safeguards and promotes their welfare, there will still be occasions when allegations of abuse, or concerns about individuals, are raised.

As outlined in Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018, the ‘Managing Allegations’ procedures should be followed if a volunteer or member of staff who 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 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.

Concerns about someone who works with a child

If you have concerns regarding someone who works with a child, including foster carers and volunteers, these should be reported to the LADO via telephone or email address in the contact information on this page. It is a statutory requirement to do this within one working day.

This applies to all adults, 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 LADO "managing allegations" threshold listed above, they may still require investigations and meetings to take place with other professional agencies, so if in doubt, please contact the LADO for guidance.

Some concerns relate to "Transference of Risk" whereby inappropriate behaviour in a professional's private life, may pose concerns of children being at risk within their professional job roles.

The person referring the concern to 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 999.

The Allegations Management process

Initially, you can report your concern to the LADO via phone or emailAfter discussion with you, and if the concern progresses to ‘Allegations Management’ procedures, a LADO referral form will need to be completed.

If Allegations Management threshold is likely to be met, the LADO will schedule an Initial Evaluation Meeting (IEM) to include other relevant professional agencies. Futher meetings may also be necessary thereafter, as the investigation progresses, to determine whether there is enough evidence for a 'substantiated' outcome to be reached.

The IEM may lead to a criminal investigation, a social care investigation and/or an internal disciplinary investigation by the organisation, for example, regarding Standards of Care or Standards of Conduct issues.

For your written records, the LADO will send you an email detailing the discussion held regarding your concern, together with any advice and guidance they have offered to you.


Formal half day training regarding Managing Allegations processes is available:

  • Wednesday 10 March 2021
  • Wednesday 16 June 2021
  • Wednesday 13 October 2021
  • Wednesday 9 February 2022.

The LADO Service can also provide more informal briefing sessions of one to two hours to particular people groups, for example, community, voluntary or sports organisations, faith groups and language schools.

The briefing sessions tend to be more discussion focused and can be useful in grouping together specific job roles and considering frequently asked questions or as a form of networking with similar function groups whilst also becoming familiar with BCP LADO colleagues and with an aim to promote confidence in regards to reporting future concerns.

In discussion, the LADOs will need to prioritise availability of briefing sessions requested.

Useful links

Contact information

Contact information for the LADO Service in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole
John McLaughlin BCP LADO 01202 817600
Laura Baldwin  BCP LADO 
Julie Smith LADO Business Support

Other useful contact information

BCP Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH)

BCP Children's First Response team:

BCP Children's out of hours team:

BCP Adult Social Care (for concerns where adults are at risk of harm)

Bournemouth and Christchurch areas:

Poole area:



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