Managing allegations against individuals who work or volunteer with children in Oxfordshire
Oxford County Council
Oxfordshire County Council is responsible for 80% of the local government services in the county. This includes children’s services, some education services, fire and rescue, libraries and museums, roads, social care, trading standards and waste disposal.
Processes for reporting and managing allegations
Prioritise and attend any meetings in relation to the investigation, including strategy meetings and joint evaluation meetings (J.E.M)
To support any external investigations (eg police led) or
To lead an internal investigation, as advised by the Designated Officer.
To update Designated Officer as case progresses
To return Designated Officer’s investigatory report form with outcome and all evidence that has been collated throughout the process.
To update all parties concerned *
To carry out any appropriate referrals (eg DBS, NCTL, HCPC, GMC
* As the investigator it is your responsibility to ensure all parties are fully updated, including:
• The child/children involved
• Child’s social worker (if open to social care)
• Child’s SEN worker (if appropriate)
• Residential worker (if in residential care) etc
However you must uphold appropriate confidentiality around the staff member subject to the allegations Take advice if needed
Regardless of the nature of the allegation, and who receives it, the allegation must be reported to the Designated Officer within 24 hours. This must include situations where the person resigns. Settlement/compromise agreements are not appropriate in these circumstances.
Complaints procedures are separate to the allegations process, just because someone does not want to make a complaint, this does not mean the allegation should not be considered and investigated.
Ensure the social worker/residential worker/SEN worker is appropriately updated so they can maintain their records accordingly and guarantee both the child and the parents/carers have been spoken to and understand the outcome of the allegation.
Oxfordshire Designated Officers Team (previously LADO)
4th Floor County Hall
❖ Alison Beasley: Designated Officer (LADO)
01865 815956 Alison.firstname.lastname@example.org
❖ Donna Crozier: Assistant Designated Officer
01865 816382 Donna.email@example.com
❖ Sandra Pasquet: Assistant Designated Officer
01865 323457 Sandra.firstname.lastname@example.org
❖ Hannah Holland: Assistant Designated Officer
01865 323032 Hannah.email@example.com
Team contact: Telephone: 01865 810603
When you contact the team you will be put through to the duty officer
Please do not hesitate to contact us in regards to any safeguarding issues; we are here to support you and to offer advice
Every authority has a statutory responsibility to have a designated officer (formerly LADO), who is responsible for coordinating the response to concerns that an adult who works or volunteers with children may 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; or
- behaved towards a child or children in a way that indicates they may pose a risk of harm to children.
You must consult with the Designated Officers team before commencing an investigation, and within 24 hours
➢ Provide advice, information and guidance to employers and voluntary organisations around allegations and concerns regarding paid and unpaid workers and volunteers, recommending a referral as appropriate.
➢ Recommend actions and next steps
➢ Chair/attend the strategy/joint evaluation meetings in cases where the allegation requires investigation by police and/or social care.
➢ Manage and oversee individual cases from all partner agencies.
➢ Ensure the child’s voice is heard and that they are safeguarded.
➢ Ensure there is a consistent, fair and thorough process for all adults working with children and young people against whom an allegation is made.
➢ Monitor the progress of cases to ensure they are dealt with as quickly as possible.
➢ Maintain a confidential database in relation to allegations
➢ Share learning from cases and serious case reviews
- Next steps: which may include:
- Liaising with other agencies e.g police, social care
- Arranging a strategy/Joint evaluation meeting
- Gathering more information
- Commencing an internal investigation
- How to inform the parents/carers of the child
- How to safeguard children throughout the investigation
- How to manage talking to the adult subject to the allegation
- What to expect from us and other agencies that are involved
The Designated Officer may need to consult with the police and/or Children’s social care to share information and establish if there is a role for them. If not, the matter will be referred back to the employer for them to conduct their own internal investigation
Support for any children involved as well as the person against who the allegation is made will also be considered
If required the Designated Officer will convene a strategy/Joint Evaluation meeting (J.E.M) and invite key people. Information is shared, discussed and recorded, and recommendations and actions agreed. A review meeting may take place at a later stage to review actions from initial meeting, and to consider the information and evidence that has been discovered as part of the investigation
- To liaise with the Designated Officers Team before any internal investigation takes place
- To act on the advice given by the Designated Officer
- Complete and return associated paperwork which will include a referral form
- Consult agency H.R where appropriate
- Prioritise and attend any meetings in relation to the investigation, including strategy meetings and joint evaluation meetings (J.E.M)