Designated Officer (formerly LADO)
The Designated Officer (formerly known as the Local Authority Designated Officer or LADO) should be informed of all cases in which it is alleged that a person who works with children has:
- Behaved in a way that has harmed, or may have harmed, a child;
- Possibly committed a criminal offence against children, or related to a child; or
- Behaved towards a child or children in a way that indicates they may pose a risk of harm to children, for example if their conduct falls within any of these categories of abuse:
Allegations made against workers who are paid, unpaid, volunteer, agency, casual and self-employed as well as foster carers, and adoptive parents of children on Placement Orders should all be reported to the Designated Officer. This should be done within 24 hours of the incident.
Should you need to discuss a case with the Designated Officer prior to submitting a referral please contact the Designated Officer by completing and returning the consultation form which can be found here. This should then be emailed to the Designated Officer using the method below:
You can e-mail your query to firstname.lastname@example.org please include as much detail as possible as this will enable the LADO to give you clear and accurate advice.
You can also call the Designated Officer on 01604 362993 if you are looking for advice you will be asked to complete and return the consultation form found here.
Reporting an allegation to the Designated Officer
If you have concerns about an adult working with children or young people please report your concern using the referral form below:
Upon completion these should be e-mailed to Northamptonshire MASH.
Once an allegation has been made, the Designated Officer's role is to:
- capture and co-ordinate the sharing of all the information relating to the case with the officers and agencies that need to be informed:
- provide advice and guidance to the employers or voluntary organisation
- monitor and track the progress of the case through to its conclusion, with the aim to resolve it as quickly as possible.
In addition to dealing with individual cases, the Designated Officer must also look at emerging patterns of behaviour.
- Referrals to the Designated Officer must be made within 24 hours of the incident.
- The Designated Officer has 3-5 working days and where a Designated Officer strategy meeting is appropriate, the Designated Officer will arrange the initial meeting to include the employer and relevant multi-agency partners.
- Allegations should be resolved within three months.
Should you disagree with a decision made by the Designated Officer you should follow the NSCP Case and Conflict Resolution Procedure.
The Designated Officer is accountable to the NSCP and operates independently within Children’s Services to help safeguard children.
The Designated Officer statutory guidance is set out in Chapter 2 of organisational responsibilities of Working Together to Safeguard Children and in keeping Children Safe in Education, as well as the Equality Act.
Last updated: 28 April 2022