Presentation on theme: "MANAGEMENT OF ALLEGATIONS AGAINST STAFF Sue Sevier."— Presentation transcript:
MANAGEMENT OF ALLEGATIONS AGAINST STAFF Sue Sevier
LADO - WHAT IS IT? Every local authority has a statutory responsibility to have a Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) who is responsible for overseeing and coordinating the response to concerns that an adult who works with children may have harmed a child. In 2006 guidance in Safeguarding children and Safer Recruitment in Education, introduced the new role of LADO.
Agency responsibilities All LSCB partner agencies should name a senior officer for child protection. Senior managers in all organisations should be aware of the procedures and all staff should have access to safe working practice procedures and advice.
LADO key roles and responsibilities Provide advice/guidance to employers and voluntary agencies Liaise with police and other agencies including Ofsted and professional bodies. Monitor the progress of referral to ensure they are dealt with in a timely way, consistently and in a fair process. Seek to resolve any inter-agency issues. Collect strategic data and maintain a confidential database in relation to allegations. Disseminate learning from enquiries throughout the children’s workforce.
LADO actions Support and advise agency. Keep records of IEM, reviews and post outcome meetings. Ensure timescales are kept. Ensure support is in place for child and alleged perpetrator. Actions are clear with timescales. Future suitability to work with children is decided upon. Outcome and status of allegations is recorded. Lessons learned are disseminated.
Allegation data Agencies referring: Health – all settings Education – primary & secondary, private & LEA Foster Care Services – LA & Independent Voluntary settings – sports, music, coaches Children’s Services Workforce Early Years – Nursery, preschool & Childminders
Allegation data continued Staff Bus escort Residential care worker Social worker Music coach Sports coach Nursery assistant Scout leader Cadet trainer Charity chairperson Hospital HCA Nurse Doctor Youth worker Teacher Learning Support Assistant Church pastor
Allegation data continued Primary category of concern: Physical abuse 50% Sexual abuse 9% Sexual (ICT) 3% Unsuitability 35.7%
What is an allegation An allegation may be that a worker has: Behaved in a way that has harmed a child, or may have actually harmed a child; Possibly committed a criminal offence against or related to a child; Behaved towards a child in a way that indicates they may pose a risk of harm to a child
cont In terms of the Education act the third criteria reads Behaved in a way that indicates that they may be unsuitable to work with a child
SCOPE If concerns arise about a person’ conduct in their private life, or that of a partner or family member, police and/or Children’s Services must consider informing the employer in order to assess whether there may be implications for children with whom the person has contact at work.
Suitability Employers may also seek the advice of the LADO where an employee’s behaviour is a matter for concern because it compromises, or may be seen to comprise, the reputation and ability of the organisation to safeguard children.
Threshold Considerations Residential social workers, teachers, foster carers, health workers in residential child care, hospital and early years professionals are all prohibited from applying more than specified types and levels of restraint. Volunteers are also expected to maintain comparable standards of conduct. A position of trust is one in which a member of staff is in a position of power or influence over a child by virtue of the work or nature of activity being undertaken. The Sexual offences Act 2003 sets out detailed definitions.
Why do allegations occur? Deliberate intention to abuse a child, or groom a child with a view of a sexual relationship. Misinterpretation of behaviour. Unintentional action. Authorised or unauthorised use of physical restraint. Poor practice, outdated, practice, naivety. Failure to follow procedures or behavioural guidelines. Poor attitude to safeguarding within an organisation. Malicious intent – by child/parent/others.
MANAGING ALLEGATIONS All allegations should be reported to the LADO. They will establish in discussion with the employer whether the allegation is within the scope of the procedures or may have some foundation. Alternatively the LADO may make a decision that they do not meet threshold and will give advice about internal investigation, or other resolution. If threshold is met, LADO will manage the case and will chair an Initial Evaluation Meeting.
What is your role? What should you do or not do? Do not Make assumptions based on personal knowledge of the child or alleged perpetrator. Automatically suspend. Alert the alleged perpetrator. Interview child, witnesses, alleged perpetrator. Take statements. Delay in reporting. Take any photographic “evidence”. Do Refer the young person/child to MASH. Refer to the LADO.
Allegations There are 3 distinct strands to any investigation overseen by the LADO: Police investigation and possible criminal offence. Enquiries and assessment by Children's Services as to whether a child is in need of protection or in need of services. Consideration by an employer of disciplinary action in respect of the individual.
Allegations These may relate to the person’s behaviour at work, at home or in another setting. It may concern a paid employee who is deemed to be in “regulated activity” or an unpaid volunteer, or a foster parent or adopter.
Substantiate allegations: referral to Disclosure and Barring Service or Regulatory Body If the allegation is substantiated and, on conclusion of the case, the employer dismisses or ceases to use the person’s service, the employer should consult LADO about referral to DBS. The LADO will also advise whether it is appropriate to make referral to a professional or regulatory body, e.g. the Health and Care Professions Council, GMC, Ofsted, Dept for Education.
Disciplinary Procedures Any disciplinary process must be clearly separate from the CP Enquiries. CP enquiries take priority over any disciplinary investigations and will determine whether the investigations can be carried out concurrently. Cases may not be seen as child protection but may still need considering under disciplinary procedures.
Resignation and “compromise agreements” Every effort should be made to reach a conclusion in all cases even if: The individual refuses to cooperate. The individual leaves employment before completion of the disciplinary process. Compromise agreements must never been used, ie where a member of staff agrees to resign provided that disciplinary action is not take and that a future reference is agreed.
Organised and historical abuse Investigators should be alert to signs of widespread or “institutional” abuse. If so, complex abuse procedures may take priority. Historical allegations should be responded to in the same way as contemporary concerns. It will be important to ascertain if the person is currently working with or has contact with children, and to decide how and when the employer should be informed.
SOME OTHER USEFUL POINTS! DBS – Disclosure and Barring Service Disciplinaries Suspension Compromise agreements