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Managing Allegations


Managing Allegations Against Adults That Work With Children

The Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) has responsibility for managing allegations against people who work with children. (See: Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018 and Keeping Children Safe in Education 2022).

The LADO procedures for Stoke-on-Trent SCP (see Resources section) provide guidance relevant to a wide range of situations in which an allegation or concern arises about the conduct of a person who works with children.

This includes: those in paid employment, including temporary, casual, and agency staff; volunteers; individuals who are self-employed; prospective adopters, or adult members of their household (standard 22 Adoption: national minimum standards). A useful test for deciding upon the applicability of the LADO procedures is to consider whether the individual subject to the allegation or concern occupies a position of trust.

Where the following threshold criteria apply, a referral to LADO should be made within 24 hours. An allegation relating to a person who works with children who 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 they may pose a risk of harm to children
  • behaved or may have behaved in a way that indicates they may not be suitable to work with children
The allegation could be about physical, sexual, emotional, online abuse and neglect. The allegation can be recent and/or historical. It may relate to a single incident or be a cumulation of concerns. The suitability criteria may also cover other forms of behaviours and attitudes either at or outside of the work place, particularly where this calls into question the values that govern the person’s personal behaviour and/or area of work, or questions their ability to safeguarding children.

LADO referrals should be made via the Children’s Advice and Duty service (ChAD) on 01782 235100 or email  

If immediate LADO advice is needed please call ChAD and ask to speak with one of the Social Workers or Team Managers. Referrals should be triaged by CHaD to determine if there are any safeguarding issues relating to a child.

The LADO will hold an initial discussion with the Senior Manager to consider the nature, content, and context of the allegation, and to agree an appropriate course of action.

The LADO may hold LADO meetings (also known as Position of Trust) to consider the allegation more fully. Detailed guidance on the Stoke-on-Trent LADO procedures can be found in the Resurces section of this website.

Information about LADO training can be obtained by contacting: