Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO)
The county Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) service deals with allegations against staff who work with children either in education or the wider children's workforce.
If you need to speak to the LADO service regarding an allegation against a member of staff please contact the LADO service or complete a referral form. Your details will be taken and passed to the LADO on duty. The same LADO will support you through the process until the matter has been resolved.
From the 16 April 2023, the County LADO Service (CLS) will no longer be taking professional referrals via a word document. All professional referrals will need to be submitted via the Kent Integrated Children's Services Portal. Please ensure that you select the correct portal (see below image).
Once you have completed and submitted the referral you will receive a notification stating that it has been received by the County LADO Service. If you do not receive this notification, it will mean that you have not sent the referral correctly.
Please note that key demographics are important and are a requirement. It is not appropriate to submit a referral form with incorrect details such as a false date of birth. There are 3 significant reasons why the CLS requests that you ensure you have completed the form correctly:
- Safeguarding and risk management – if details are incorrect or missing the LADO is unable to check if the member of staff has previously been known t. Equally, when sharing details with partner agencies such as the Police, incorrect details will lead to missing key data and potential known risk factors.
- It is also not proportionate for the CLS to contact an employer for details of a member of staff. The CLS has no direct link and may not progress any subsequent referral against the harm threshold. As the referrer you will be far more likely to have a role with the employer under safeguarding duties and or a link e.g., via a child you work with.
- Incorrect or false information leads to false records being created and a vulnerability that a member of staff that may pose a safeguarding risk is overlooked.
As a result, if we now receive a referral via the portal with key information missing, we shall have to return it to the referrer, via the portal, requesting that the missing data be added. The CLS gives 3 working days for these to be returned with the details required, however if on the 3rd day a response has not been received the referral will be rejected. This will mean that the referrer will be required and accountable for resubmitting it as soon as possible with the full and correct details.
View LADO portal guide which details how external professionals can submit a LADO referral.
The Parents/Carers LADO referral form will be on the portal shortly – in the meantime please follow the usual process of completing and sending into the LADO mailbox KentchildrensLADO@kent.gov.uk
Telephone:03000 41 08 88
If a call is urgent i.e a child is in immediate danger and requires safeguarding, call 03000 41 11 11.
If a call is urgent and outside of office hours call 03000 41 91 91.
The LADO feedback form is for practitioners and parents/carers who use the LADO Service and wish to provide feedback.
The Kent LADO risk assessment is to be used when considering transference of risk into the workplace; when the allegation has met the fourth harm thresholds around suitability; and if a members of staff is believed to present an imminent risk.
The disqualification or risk by association risk assessment is to be used if you have concerns regarding a member of staff who has been disqualified from their role or are associated with an individual who has been disqualified.
County LADO Service (CLS) Privacy Notice and Retention Policy
This notice explains what personal data (information) the County LADO Service holds about you, how they collect, how they use and may share information about you. They are required to give you this information under data protection law.
Local and National Guidance
KCC Managing Allegations Against Staff Practice Guidance
This guidance should be used in respect of all cases in connection with the person who works with children in either a paid or unpaid (volunteer) capacity where it is alleged that a person has:
- 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 he or she may pose a risk of harm to children
- behaved in a way that indicates they may not be suitable to with children (includes transfer of risk, risk by association).
KCC Guidance for Investigation Reports for all Settings
The LADO service have produced this guidance to help professionals complete investigation reports.
County LADO Service (CLS) Escalation Guidance
The escalation guidance helps clarify the process of raising concerns that have arisen through practice issues and decisions linked to allegation management. It clarifies boundaries and channels of decision-making around escalating concerns with the children's workforce to resolve matters quickly and where appropriate reflect on lessons learnt. The guidance should be read in conjunction with the KSCMP resolving professional disagreements and the escalation of professional concerns procedure.
Safer Recruitment Consortium Guidance for Safer Working Practice for those Working with Children and Young People in Education Settings
The Safer Recruitment Consortium have produced these procedures which are intended for education settings only. Each section provides general guidance about a particular aspect of work, and specific guidance about which behaviours should be avoided and which are recommended.
The LADO service have produced a number of leaflets providing information about the service and how allegations are managed.