* 1. Name and contact details

* 2. Following an extensive process of revision with the London LADO Network, significant changes have been made to this chapter. Hence, practitioners are asked to thoroughly review the entire chapter to ensure they are aware of all the changes and can comment if necessary. Key changes are highlighted below and you are specifically invited to comment on these.

* 3. The revised chapter uses the abbreviation LADO [local authority designated officer] throughout, to refer to the specific role of the designated officer employed by the local authority to manage and have oversight of allegations across the children’s workforce. This term is used because it is strongly felt that the multi-agency safeguarding network is familiar with and understands this abbreviation and also to distinguish between safeguarding leads in health and education who can also be referred to as ‘designated’ leads. 

* 4. The meetings chaired by LADOs to investigate allegations are no longer referred to as ‘strategy meetings’ – they are instead referred to as ‘Allegations Against Staff and Volunteers’ Meeting and abbreviated to ASV meetings. This decision was made to avoid confusion with the Section 47 process for the assessment of child protection concerns. 

* 5. There is an emphasis throughout on the difference between an allegation and a concern and it is highlighted that an ASV should not be held unless it has been decided that the matter reaches the threshold of being an ‘allegation’. This because practitioners reported that ‘substantiated’ is being used as the outcome when the facts of a case are found to be true even when it doesn’t meet the threshold for an allegation. 

* 6. Reference to the need to follow the procedures when 16 & 17 year olds are working with other children is added. 

* 7. The threshold of significant harm is not used as a criteria for an investigation to take place – this threshold is not set within Working Together and the Child Protection Procedures can’t set a more restrictive criteria than the statutory guidance. 

* 8. There is concern that the current timescales for investigations are unrealistic - your views and suggestions on this would be welcome.

* 9. The following is included  re: cases which cross borough boundaries:
Cases will often be relevant to more than one borough. For example, an allegation could be made against an agency worker who works across multiple boroughs and whose agency is based in a further borough. Decisions about which LADO should take the lead are complex and should consider the following:
  • Which agency holds the greatest risk? For example, if an agency worker has only worked one day in the school where the allegation has taken place and won’t be returning, it might be that the employment agency holds the most risk.
  • Where is organisational learning required? For example, an agency worker may have only worked in a school for a day, but if the school did not follow good practice with the worker and this contributed to the incident, the greatest learning might be with the school.