Presentation on theme: "MANAGEMENT OF ALLEGATIONS AGAINST STAFF"— Presentation transcript:
1MANAGEMENT OF ALLEGATIONS AGAINST STAFF Sue Sevier
2LADO - 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.
3Agency 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.
4LADO key roles and responsibilities Provide advice/guidance to employers and voluntary agenciesLiaise 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.
5LADO 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 .
6Allegation data Agencies referring: Health – all settings Education – primary & secondary, private & LEAFoster Care Services – LA & IndependentVoluntary settings – sports, music, coachesChildren’s Services WorkforceEarly Years – Nursery, preschool & Childminders
7Allegation data continued StaffBus escortResidential care workerSocial workerMusic coachSports coachNursery assistantScout leaderCadet trainerCharity chairpersonHospital HCANurseDoctorYouth workerTeacherLearning Support AssistantChurch pastor
8Allegation data continued Primary category of concern:Physical abuse 50%Sexual abuse 9%Sexual (ICT) 3%Unsuitability 35.7%
9What 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
10cont 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
11SCOPEIf 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.
12SuitabilityEmployers 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.
13Threshold 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.
14Why 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.
15MANAGING ALLEGATIONSAll 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.
16What is your role? What should you do or not do? Do notMake 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”.DoRefer the young person/child to MASH.Refer to the LADO.
17AllegationsThere 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.
18AllegationsThese 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.
19Substantiate 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.
20Disciplinary 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.
21Resignation 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.
22Organised 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.
23SOME OTHER USEFUL POINTS! DBS – Disclosure and Barring ServiceDisciplinariesSuspensionCompromise agreements