Skip to main content

 

CAPTION: TEXT link
   
View Working Together View Working Together

6.2 Allegations Against Adults who Work with Children

AMENDMENT

This chapter was updated in August 2021 to reflect Working Together to Safeguard Children.


Contents

  1. Scope
  2. Supporting those Involved
  3. Confidentiality
  4. Resignations and 'Compromise Agreements'
  5. Record Keeping
  6. Timescales
  7. Oversight and Monitoring
  8. Initial Considerations
  9. Restrictions on Identifying Teachers Against Whom Allegations of Criminal Misconduct Have Been Made
  10. Suspension
  11. Monitoring Progress
  12. Information Sharing
  13. Action following a Criminal Investigation or a Prosecution
  14. Action on Conclusion of a Case
  15. Learning Lessons
  16. Action in Respect of False or Unfounded Allegations
  17. Summary of Process
  18. Referral to the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) or Regulatory Body

    Appendix A: Definitions of Abuse Against Professionals who work with Children and Young People: Thresholds for Referral

    Appendix B: Process for Managing Allegations/Concerns Against Adults Who Work with Children

    Appendix C: Allegations of Abuse made against Professionals in their Personal Lives

    Appendix D: Referrals to the Disclosure and Barring Service

    Appendix E: Private and Confidential

    Appendix F: Serious Case Review (learning lessons)

    Appendix G: Haringey LADO Thresholds Tier Model

    Appendix H: Liverpool Options Appraisal Tool

    Appendix I: Liverpool Risk Management Tool


1. Scope

It is essential that any allegation of abuse made against a professional who works with children and young people or other member of staff or volunteer in any setting is dealt with fairly, quickly, and consistently, in a way that provides effective protection for the child and at the same time supports the person who is the subject of the allegation.

All agencies who work with children and young people in Liverpool should use this procedure to review and, where appropriate, modify their practice and procedure for dealing with allegations of abuse made against professionals who work with children and young people. These include:

  • NHS Trusts;
  • Police;
  • Youth Offending Team (sometimes known as Targeted Services);
  • Children's Services;
  • External Service Providers;
  • Early Years settings;
  • Private Day Care Providers;
  • Fostering Services;
  • Voluntary sector;
  • Community based groups;
  • All local authority maintained schools;
  • Faith schools/free schools;
  • Education Support Teams;
  • Alternative Education Providers;
  • Non-maintained schools;
  • Independent schools;
  • Academies;
  • Further Education institutions;
  • Supply Agencies;
  • Hospitals caring for children.

This policy should be used when allegations are made against a person who works with children and they or their children have been subject to child protection investigation.

This procedure complies with the provisions relating to managing cases of allegations of abuse against people who work with children that are set out in Chapter 2 of Working Together to Safeguard Children: A guide to inter-agency working to safeguard and promote the welfare of children (July 2018). All organisations which provide services for children, or provide staff or volunteers to work with or care for children, should operate a procedure for handling such allegations which is consistent with that guidance.

It supplements the guidance entitled "Keeping Children Safe in Education" and is relevant for the purposes of S175 and S157 of the Education Act 2002.

The framework for managing cases set out in this procedure applies to a wider range of allegations than those in which there is reasonable cause to believe a child is suffering, or is likely to suffer Significant Harm.

It also caters for cases of allegations that might indicate that s/he is unsuitable to continue to work with children in their present position, or in any capacity. It should be used in respect of all cases in which it is alleged that a person who works with children 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; or
  • Behaved or may have behaved in a way that indicates they may not be suitable to work with children.

There may be up to 3 strands in the consideration of an allegation:

  • A police investigation of a possible criminal offence;
  • Enquiries and assessment by children's social care about whether a child is in need of protection or in need of services;
  • Consideration by an employer (1) of disciplinary action in respect of the individual.

In Education, cases involving teachers may need to be reported to the Teaching Regulation Agency, for considerations of possible sanctions against the individual.

In the NHS some cases will need to be reported to a professional body such as the General Medical Council (GMC).

In Social Care some cases will need to be reported to Social Work England.

In early years settings some cases will need to be reported to Ofsted.

All agencies, employers and settings should have procedures for dealing with allegations and all staff and volunteers should understand what to do if they receive an allegation against another member of staff or they themselves have concerns about the behaviour of another member of staff. The procedure should make it clear:

  • That all allegations should be reported immediately, normally to the senior manager in the organisation (in schools this would be the Headteacher);
  • To whom reports should be made in the absence of the senior manager (Head teacher);
  • The identity of the person to whom the allegation should be reported, in a case where the senior manager is the subject of the allegation or concern;
  • Anybody else who must be notified e.g. the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) responsible for providing advice and monitoring case and The Designated Professionals for NHS staff /professionals.

The term employer is used throughout this procedure to refer to organisations that have a working relationship with the individual against whom the allegation is made.

That includes organisations that use the services of volunteers, or people who are self employed, as well as service providers, voluntary organisations, employment agencies or businesses, contractors, fostering services, regulatory bodies such as Ofsted in the case of childminders, and others that may not have a direct employment relationship with the individual, but will need to consider whether to continue to use the person's services, or to provide the person for work with children in future, or to deregister the individual.

N.B. In some circumstances the term "employer" for these purposes will encompass more than one organisation. For example where staff providing services for children in an organisation are employed by a contractor, or where temporary staff are provided by an agency.

In those circumstances both the contractor or agency, and the organisation in which the accused individual worked will need to be involved in dealing with the allegation.


2. Supporting those Involved

Parents or carers of a child or children involved should, where appropriate, be told about the allegation as soon as possible if they do not already know of it. They should also be kept informed about the progress of the case, and told the outcome where there is not a criminal prosecution.

That includes the outcome of any disciplinary process. The deliberations of a disciplinary hearing, and the information taken into account in reaching a decision, cannot normally be disclosed, but those concerned should be told the outcome.

In cases where a child may have suffered Significant Harm, or there may be a criminal prosecution, Children's Social Care, or the police as appropriate, should consider what support the child or children involved may need.

The employer should also keep the person who is the subject of the allegations informed of the progress of the case and arrange to provide appropriate support to the individual while the case is ongoing. (That may be provided via occupational health or employee welfare arrangements where those exist). If the person is suspended the employer should also make arrangements to keep the individual informed about developments in the workplace. If a person is a member of a union or professional association s/he should be advised to contact that body at the outset.


3. Confidentiality

Every effort should be made to maintain confidentiality and guard against publicity while an allegation is being investigated/considered. In accordance with National Police Chiefs' Council (formerly known as Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO)) guidance the police will not normally provide any information to the Press or media that might identify an individual who is under investigation, unless and until the person is charged with a criminal offence. (In exceptional cases where the police might depart from that rule, e.g. an appeal to trace a suspect, the reasons should be documented and partner agencies consulted beforehand). The system of self-regulation, overseen by the Press Complaints Commission, also provides safeguards against the publication of inaccurate or misleading information.

See also Information Sharing Procedure.


4. Resignations and 'Compromise Agreements'

The fact that a person tenders his or her resignation and or takes early retirement, or ceases to provide their services, must not prevent an allegation being followed up in accordance with these procedures. It is important that every effort is made to reach a conclusion in all cases of allegations bearing on the safety or welfare of children including any in which the person concerned refuses to cooperate with the process. Wherever possible the person should be given a full opportunity to answer the allegation and make representations about it, but the process of recording the allegation and any supporting evidence, and reaching a judgement about whether it can be regarded as substantiated on the basis of all the information available should continue even if that cannot be done or the person does not cooperate. It may be difficult to reach a conclusion in those circumstances, and it may not be possible to apply any disciplinary sanctions if a person's period of notice expires before the process is complete, but it is important to reach and record a conclusion wherever possible.

By the same token 'compromise agreements' by which a person agrees to resign, the employer agrees not to pursue disciplinary action, and both parties agree a form of words to be used in any future reference, must not be used in these cases. In any event, such an agreement will not prevent a thorough police investigation where appropriate.

Nor can it override an employer's statutory duty to make a referral to the Disclosure and Barring Service where circumstances require that.


5. Record Keeping

All record keeping must be made with due regard to the provision of the Data Protection Act 2018, Freedom of Information Act 2002 and Human Rights Act 1998 and UK GDPR.

It is important that employers keep a clear and comprehensive summary of any allegations made, details of how the allegation was followed up and resolved, and details of any action taken and decisions reached, on a person's confidential personnel file and give a copy to the individual.

Keeping Children Safe in Education states: such information should be, (including for people who leave the organisation), at least until the person reaches normal retirement age or for 10 years if that will be longer. But each agency should refer to their individual procedures.

The purpose of the record is to enable accurate information to be given in response to any future request for a reference. It will provide clarification in cases where a future Disclosure and Barring Service Disclosure reveals information from the police that an allegation was made but did not result in a prosecution or a conviction and it will prevent unnecessary re-investigation if, as sometimes happens, allegations resurface after a period of time.


6. Timescales

It is in everyone's interest to resolve cases as quickly as possible consistent with a fair and thorough investigation. Every effort should be made to manage cases to avoid any unnecessary delay. Indicative target timescales are shown for different actions in the summary description of the process. These are not performance indicators: the time taken to investigate and resolve individual cases depends on a variety of factors including the nature, seriousness, and complexity of the allegation, but they provide useful targets to aim for that are achievable in many cases.


7. Oversight and Monitoring

The Local Authority named senior officer has overall responsibility for oversight of the procedures for dealing with allegations; for resolving any inter-agency issues, and for liaison with the Liverpool Safeguarding Children Partnership (LSCP) on the subject. In addition, the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) should also be involved in the management and oversight of individual cases. The LADO will provide advice and guidance, in addition to liaising with the police and other agencies, and monitoring the progress of cases to ensure that they are dealt with as quickly as possible consistent with a thorough and fair process.

Police forces should also identify officers to fill similar roles. A senior officer to have strategic oversight of the arrangements and ensure compliance, and others, perhaps based in MASH unit, who will be responsible for: liaising with the LADO, taking part in the Strategy Discussion, or initial evaluation, subsequently reviewing the progress of those cases in which there is a police investigation, and sharing information on completion of the investigation or any prosecution.

Other employers' procedures should identify a senior manager within the organisation to whom allegations or concerns that a member of staff or volunteer may have abused a child should be reported, and should make sure that all staff and volunteers know who that is. The procedures should also identify an alternative person to whom reports should be made in the absence of the named senior manager, or in cases where that person is the subject of the allegation or concern, and include contact details for the LADO responsible for providing advice, liaison, and monitoring the progress of cases to ensure that they are dealt with as quickly as possible consistent with a fair and thorough process.


8. Initial Considerations

Procedures need to be applied with common sense and judgement. Some allegations will be so serious as to require immediate referral to social care, via Careline and the police for investigation. Others may be much less serious and at first sight might not seem to warrant consideration of a police investigation, or enquiries by children's social care.

However, it is important to ensure that even apparently less serious allegations are seen to be followed up, and that they are examined objectively by someone independent of the organisation concerned.

Consequently, the LADO should be informed of all allegations that come to the employer's attention, so that's/he can consult police and social care colleagues as appropriate. This includes allegations made within the person's own family.

The LADO should also be informed of any allegations that are made directly to the police (which should be communicated via the police force designated officer) or to Children's Social Care.

The LADO should first establish in discussion with the employer that the allegation is within the scope of these procedures and may have some foundation. The document attached as Appendix G: Haringey LADO Thresholds Tier Model will be a useful tool in assessing how different types of allegations could be dealt with.

If the parents/carers of the child concerned are not already aware of the allegation, the designated officer will also discuss how and by whom they should be informed. In circumstances in which the police or social care may need to be involved, the LADO should consult those colleagues about how best to inform parents. However, in some circumstances an employer may need to advise parents of an incident involving their child straight away, for example if the child has been injured while in the organisation's care and requires medical treatment.

The employer should inform the accused person about the allegation as soon as possible after consulting the LADO. However, where a Strategy Meeting is needed, or it is clear that police or Children's Social Care may need to be involved, that should not be done until those agencies have been consulted, and have agreed what information can be disclosed to the person. If the person is a member of a union or professional association s/he should be advised to seek support from that organisation.

If there is cause to suspect a child is suffering or is likely to suffer harm, a Strategy Meeting should be convened in accordance with Strategy Discussion / Child Protection Referrals – Safeguarding (Section 47) Referrals Procedure. N.B. in these cases the Strategy Meeting should include a representative of the employer, unless there are good reasons not to do that, and take account of any information the employer can provide about the circumstances or context of the allegation.

In cases where a formal Strategy Meeting (Section 47) is not considered appropriate because the threshold of "harm" is not reached, but a police investigation might be needed, the LADO should conduct a Strategy Discussion with the police, the employer, and any other agencies involved with the child to evaluate the allegation and decide how it should be dealt with. (N.B. The police must be consulted about any case in which a criminal offence may have been committed). It should share available information about the allegation, the child, and the person against whom the allegation has been made, consider whether a police investigation is needed and if so, agree the timing and conduct of that. In cases where a police investigation is necessary the joint evaluation should also consider whether there are matters which can be taken forward in a disciplinary process in parallel with the criminal process, or whether any disciplinary action will need to wait completion of the police enquiries and/or prosecution.

If the allegation is about physical contact, the Strategy Meeting/Discussion with the police should take account of the fact that some people who work with children are entitled to use reasonable force to control or restrain children as outlined in restraint policies and procedures in certain circumstances, including dealing with disruptive behaviour. For specific guidance refer to your own agency policy and procedures.

If the complaint or allegation is such that it is clear that investigation by police and/or enquiries by social care are not necessary, or the Strategy Meeting/Discussion decides that is the case, the LADO should discuss next steps with the employer. In those circumstances options open to the employer will range from taking no further action, moving them to another role or clinical area for NHS staff, to summary dismissal or a decision not to use the person's services in future. The nature and circumstances of the allegation and the evidence and information available will determine which of the range of possible options is most appropriate.

Appendix H: Liverpool Options Appraisal Tool will be used to assist in assessing what actions could be taken from a range of options. These options will be considered by the case manager before suspending a member of staff:

  • Redeployment within the school / college / care provision so that the individual does not have direct contact with the child or children concerned;
  • Providing an assistant/other staff member to be present when the individual has contact with children;
  • Redeploying to alternative work in the school/college/care provision so the individual does not have unsupervised access to children;
  • Moving the child or children to classes where they will not come into contact with the member of staff, making it clear that this is not a punishment and parents have been consulted.

In some cases further investigation will be needed to enable a decision about how to proceed. If so, the LADO should discuss with the person's employer how and by whom the investigation will be undertaken. That should normally be undertaken by the employer.

However in some circumstances appropriate resources may not be available in the employer's organisation or the nature and complexity of the allegation will require an employer to commission an independent investigation.


9. Restrictions on Identifying Teachers Against Whom Allegations of Criminal Misconduct Have Been Made

With effect from 1 October 2012, the Education Act 2011 introduced reporting restrictions preventing the publication of any material that may lead to the identification of a teacher who has been accused by, or on behalf of, a pupil from the same school (where that identification would identify the teacher as the subject of the allegation). The reporting restrictions apply until the point that the accused person is charged with an offence, or until the Secretary of State or the General Teaching Council for Wales publishes information about an investigation or decision in a disciplinary case arising from the allegation. The reporting restrictions also cease to apply if the individual to whom the restrictions apply effectively waives their right to anonymity by going public themselves or by giving their written consent for another to do so or if a judge lifts restrictions in response to a request to do so. Breaching the reporting restrictions is a criminal offence.

The case manager should take advice from the LADO, police and children's social care services to agree the following:

  • Who needs to know and, importantly, exactly what information can be shared;
  • How to manage speculation, leaks and gossip;
  • What, if any information can be reasonably given to the wider community to reduce speculation; and
  • How to manage press interest if and when it should arise.
(Note that this provision applies only to teachers, not to other staff in educational establishments).


10. Suspension

The possible risk of harm to children posed by an accused person needs to be effectively evaluated and managed - in respect of the child(ren) involved in the allegations, and any other children in the individual's home, work or community life. Appendix I: Liverpool Risk Management Tool can be used to assist in assessing what actions could be taken to assess and manage risk. In some cases this will require the employer to consider suspending the person until the case is resolved.

Suspension should be considered in any case where there is cause to suspect a child is at risk of harm, or the allegation warrants investigation by the police, or is so serious that it might be grounds for dismissal. However, a person must not be suspended automatically, or without careful thought. Employers must consider carefully whether the circumstances of a case warrant a person being suspended from contact with children until the allegation is resolved, and should seek advice from their HR personnel adviser. Employers should also consider whether the result that would be achieved by suspension could be obtained by alternative arrangements.

Neither the LA, the police, nor Children's Social Care can require an employer to suspend a member of staff or a volunteer. The power to suspend is vested in the employer alone. However, where a Strategy Meeting/Discussion concludes that there should be enquiries by social care and/or an investigation by the police, the LADO should also canvass police/social care views/designated professionals for NHS professionals/staff about whether the accused member of staff needs to be suspended from contact with children, to inform the employer's consideration of suspension.


11. Monitoring Progress

The LADO should regularly monitor the progress of cases either via further Strategy Meetings, or by liaising with the police and/or Children's Social Care colleagues or the employer as appropriate. Reviews should be conducted at regular intervals dependent on the complexity of the case.

If the Strategy Meeting/Discussion decides that a police investigation is required, the police should, where possible, set a target date for reviewing the progress of the investigation and consulting the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to consider whether to charge the individual, continue to investigate or close the investigation. Wherever possible that review should take place no later than 4 weeks after the initial action meeting. Dates for subsequent reviews, should be set at the meeting if the investigation continues.


12. Information Sharing

In the initial consideration at a Strategy Meeting/Discussion or joint evaluation the agencies concerned, including the employer, should share all relevant information they have about the person who is the subject of the allegation, and about the alleged victim.

Wherever possible the police should obtain consent from the individuals concerned to share the statements and evidence they obtain with the employer, and/or regulatory body, for disciplinary purposes. That should be done as the investigation proceeds rather than after it is concluded. That will enable the police and CPS to share relevant information without delay at the conclusion of their investigation or any court case.

Children's Social Care should adopt a similar procedure when making enquiries to determine whether the child or children named in the allegation is in need of protection or services so that any information obtained in the course of those enquiries which is relevant to a disciplinary case can be passed to the employer or regulatory body without delay.


13. Action following a Criminal Investigation or a Prosecution

The police or the CPS should inform the employer and LADO straightaway when a criminal investigation and any subsequent trial are complete, or if it is decided to close an investigation without charge, or not to prosecute after the person has been charged. In those circumstances the LADO should discuss with the employer whether any further action is appropriate and, if so, how to proceed. The information provided by the police and/or Children's Social Care should inform that decision. Action by the employer, including dismissal, is not ruled out in any of those circumstances. The range of options open will depend on the circumstances of the case and the consideration will need to take account of the result of the police investigation or trial, as well as the different standard of proof required in disciplinary and criminal proceedings.


14. Action on Conclusion of a Case

If the allegation is substantiated and the person is dismissed or the employer ceases to use the person's services, or the person resigns, retires otherwise ceases to provide his/her services, the LADO should discuss with the employer whether a referral to the Disclosure and Barring Service is required, or advisable, and the form and content of a referral.

Also, if the person is subject to registration or regulation by a professional body or regulator, for example by the Health and Care Professions Council, General Medical Council, OFSTED, Nursing and Midwifery Council, The Teaching Regulation Agency etc. the LADO should advise on whether a referral to that body is appropriate.

If it is decided on the conclusion of the case that a person who has been suspended can return to work the employer should consider how best to facilitate that. Most people will benefit from some help and support to return to work after a very stressful experience. Depending on the individual's circumstances, a phased return and/or the provision of a mentor to provide assistance and support in the short term may be appropriate. The employer should also consider how the person's contact with the child or children who made the allegation can best be managed if they are still in the workplace.

The following definitions will be used when determining the outcome of allegation investigations:

  • Substantiated: there is sufficient evidence to prove the allegation;
  • Malicious: there is sufficient evidence to disprove the allegation and there has been a deliberate act to deceive;
  • False: there is sufficient evidence to disprove the allegation;
  • Unsubstantiated: there is insufficient evidence to either prove or disprove the allegation. The term, therefore, does not imply guilt or innocence;
  • Unfounded: to reflect cases where there is no evidence or proper basis which supports the allegation being made. It might also indicate that the person making the allegation misinterpreted the incident or was mistaken about what they saw. Alternatively they may not have been aware of all the circumstances.


15. Learning Lessons

At the conclusion of a case in which an allegation is substantiated the LADO and employer should review the circumstances of the case to determine whether there are any improvements to be made to the organisation's procedures or practice to help prevent similar events in the future.


16. Action in Respect of False or Unfounded Allegations

If an allegation is determined to be unfounded, the LADO or the employer should refer the matter to Children's Social Care using the Referral, Investigation and Assessment Procedure to determine whether the child concerned is In Need of services, or may have been abused by someone else.

In the rare event that an allegation is shown to have been deliberately invented or malicious, the police should be asked to consider whether any action might be appropriate against the person responsible.


17. Summary of Process

17.1 Allegation made to employer

The allegation should be reported to the senior manager identified in the employer's procedure immediately unless that person is the subject of the allegation in which case it should be reported to the designated alternative.

If the allegation meets any of the criteria set out in paragraph 1 the employer should report it to the LADO within 1 working day.

17.2 Allegation made to the Police or Children's Social Care

If an allegation is made to the police, the officer who receives it should report it to the force designated liaison officer without delay and the designated liaison officer should in turn inform the LADO straight away.

Similarly if the allegation is made to children's social care the person who receives it should report it to the LADO without delay.

17.3 Initial consideration

The LADO will discuss the matter with the employer and where necessary obtain further details of the allegation and the circumstances in which it was made. The discussion should also consider whether there is evidence/information that establishes that the allegation is false or unfounded.

If the allegation is not patently false and there is cause to suspect that a child is suffering or is likely to suffer Significant Harm, the LADO will immediately refer to Children's Social Care and ask for a Strategy Discussion to be convened straight away. In those circumstances the Strategy Discussion should include the LADO and a representative of the employer.

If there is not cause to suspect that harm is an issue, but a criminal offence might have been committed, the LADO should immediately inform the police and convene a similar discussion to decide whether a police investigation is needed. That discussion should also involve the employer and any other agencies involved with the child.

17.4 Action following initial consideration

Where the initial evaluation decides that the allegation does not involve a possible criminal offence it will be dealt with by the employer. In such cases, if the nature of the allegation does not require formal disciplinary action, appropriate action should be instituted within 3 working days. If a disciplinary hearing is required and can be held without further investigation, the hearing should be held within 15 working days.

Where further investigation is required to inform consideration of disciplinary action the employer should discuss who will undertake that with the LADO. In some settings and circumstances it may be appropriate for the disciplinary investigation to be conducted by a person who is independent of the employer or the person's line management to ensure objectivity. In any case the investigating officer should aim to provide a report to the employer within 10 working days. Organisations are strongly advised to seek support from their Personnel Employment Team.

On receipt of the report of the disciplinary investigation, the employer should decide whether a disciplinary hearing is needed within 2 working days, and if a hearing is needed it should be held within 15 working days.

In any case in which Children's Social Care has undertaken enquiries to determine whether the child or children are in need of protection, the employer should take account of any relevant information obtained in the course of those enquiries when considering disciplinary action.

The LADO should continue to liaise with the employer to monitor progress of the case and provide advice/support when required/requested.

17.5 Case subject to police investigation

If a criminal investigation is required, the police will aim to complete their enquiries as quickly as possible consistent with a fair and thorough investigation and will keep the progress of the case under review. They should at the outset, where possible, set a target date for reviewing progress of the investigation and consulting the CPS about whether to proceed with the investigation, charge the individual with an offence, or close the case. Wherever possible that review should take place no later than 4 weeks after the initial evaluation and if the decision is to continue to investigate the allegation dates for subsequent reviews should be set at that point. (It is open to the police to consult the CPS about the evidence that will need to be obtained in order to charge a person with an offence at any stage).

If the police and/or CPS decide not to charge the individual with an offence, or decide to administer a caution, or the person is acquitted by a Court, the police should pass all information they have which may be relevant to a disciplinary case to the employer without delay.

If the person is convicted of an offence the police should also inform the employer straight away so that appropriate action can be taken.


18. Referral to the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) or Regulatory Body

If an organisation removes an individual (paid worker or unpaid volunteer) from work such as looking after children (or would have, had the person not left first) because the person poses a risk of harm to children, the organisation must make a referral to the Disclosure and Barring Service. It is an offence to fail to make a referral without good reason.


Appendix A: Definitions of Abuse Against Professionals who work with Children and Young People: Thresholds for Referral

Introductory notes:

  1. The following table has been produced to assist decision-making when considering whether to make a child protection Referral. This should be used in conjunction with Part 3 of the Manual, Managing Individual Cases Where There are Concerns about a Child's Safety and Welfare. Its purpose is to ensure that wherever possible, the initial category of the allegation is ascribed on the basis of the evidence presented, rather than upon assumption or preconception;
  2. All concerns raised about staff should include consideration of their conduct, whether in relation to any necessary disciplinary action and/or with regard to reducing their vulnerability to further allegations. This may involve an action plan for other staff too.

Click here to view the table produced to assist decision-making when considering whether to make a child protection Referral.


Appendix B: Process for Managing Allegations/Concerns Against Adults Who Work with Children

Click here to view Appendix B: Process for Managing Allegations/Concerns Against Adults Who Work with Children Flowchart.


Appendix C: Allegations of Abuse made against Professionals in their Personal Lives

If an allegation about abuse or neglect of a child or adult at risk is made in relation to the conduct of a professional working with children outside of the work role, the general principles and approach detailed in The Procedures Investigating Allegations of Abuse made against a person who works with Children/ Young People should apply.

A senior manager representing the employing agency should be briefed and involved in the process; legal/employment advice must be sought if appropriate.

The decision about the methodology to be adopted is to be made by the Local Authority Designated Officer in conjunction with Children's Social Care Senior Care Manager leading the enquiries. The decision and reasons for it must be placed on the case record.

If the person subject to an allegation is not in his/her substantive post during the investigation and a decision is made by the employer for a return to work, this should only be made following consultation and advice from the LADO.

A return to work should only be considered if a risk assessment has been completed.

If the allegation is substantiated it is the responsibility of the Children's Social Care Manager to inform in writing the relevant regulatory body.

Referrals to the Disclosure and Barring Service should be made by the employer within one month of the conclusion of the investigation.


Appendix D: Referrals to the Disclosure and Barring Service

The duty to refer

If an organisation removes an individual (paid worker or unpaid volunteer) from work such as looking after children (or would have, had the person not left first) because the person poses a risk of harm to children, the organisation must make a referral to the Disclosure and Barring Service. It is an offence to fail to make a referral without good reason.

If the person resigns (or withdraws their voluntary services) before a disciplinary process has been completed, the disciplinary investigation should continue. If a case for a disciplinary hearing is established, a disciplinary panel should convene and reach a decision about what disciplinary sanction would have been imposed had the person not ceased to provide their services or whether, in the case of a volunteer, the organisation would have discontinued to use their services.

A referral should be made where:

  1. The organisation has dismissed the individual on the grounds of misconduct (whether or not in the course of his employment) which harmed a child or placed a child at risk of harm; or
  2. The individual has resigned or retired in circumstances such that the organisation would have dismissed him on such grounds if he had not resigned or retired; or
  3. The organisation has, on such grounds, transferred the individual to a position within the organisation which is not a child care position.

Decision to make a referral

If after investigation, the employer has ceased to use a person's services for reasons of misconduct or because they consider that person to be unsuitable to work with children, there is a statutory duty on the employer to make a referral. This is regardless of whether the evidence is such that the employer or LADO feel that the case is likely or unlikely to result in the individual being barred from working with children.

Who should make the referral?

Employers in local authority children's services have a statutory duty to make a report to the Disclosure and Barring Service if they cease to use a person's services, in other words dismiss them from work as a teacher or in a role involving regular contact with children, on grounds that the person has committed misconduct which harmed a child or placed at risk of harm a child, on grounds relating to their misconduct (for example if they falsely claim qualifications they do not possess), or on grounds relating to the person's health, where this raises an issue relating to the safety and welfare of children.

All registered childcare organisations have a statutory duty to refer the names of those individuals who occupied a child care position that they consider to be guilty of misconduct which harmed or placed at risk of harm a child.

Any other organisation who provide Regulated Activities as defined under the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006, as amended by the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012.

How to make a referral

It is important that full information about the behaviour of the person and how the judgement of the panel was informed is given. See the Disclosure and Barring Service website.

When there is no employer, a decision should have been taken at the beginning of the process as to who would carry out the employers' functions. This person would be responsible for making any referral.


Appendix E: Private and Confidential

Click here to view Appendix E: Private and Confidential letter.


Appendix F: Serious Case Review (learning lessons)

If an allegation is substantiated, the managers or commissioners should think widely about the lessons of the case and how they should be acted on.

This should include whether there are features of the organisation that may have contributed to, or failed to prevent, the abuse occurring.

In some cases a serious case review may be appropriate - this is where the LSCP undertakes a review of a serious case to consider whether there are any lessons to be learnt and actions to be taken that should be shared more widely, so as to improve safeguarding practice.


Appendix G: Haringey LADO Thresholds Tier Model

Click here to view Appendix G: Haringey LADO Thresholds Tier Model.


Appendix H: Liverpool Options Appraisal Tool

Click here to view Appendix H: Liverpool Options Appraisal Tool


Appendix I: Liverpool Risk Management Tool

Click here to view Appendix I: Liverpool Risk Management Tool

End