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When and how to report a concern or allegation

As outlined in government statutory guidelines, procedures should be followed if a volunteer or member of staff who is in a ‘position of trust’ and works with children (anyone under the age of 18) 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, teachers, sport coaches and volunteers in the Bournemouth, Christchurch, and Poole area, these should be reported to the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO).

It is a statutory requirement to do this within one working day of the incident.

You can contact the Designated Officer's for the Bournemouth, Christchurch, and Poole area at:

01202 817 600

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

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

You can use the LADO referral form to complete a full referral or to contact us for advice.

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

If you believe the child is at risk of significant harm, you should also contact children’s social care as a priority.

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

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

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