Allegations management / Designated Officer – resources for practitioners

These resources are to support professionals managing allegations and relate to the role of the MCC Designated Officer (formerly known as the LADO).

Children and young people can be subject to harm by those who work with them in any setting. This may be by a professional, staff member, foster carer or volunteer.

All allegations must be taken seriously and treated in accordance with agreed procedures. These procedures apply to all organisations within Manchester who have contact with children and young people, or provide staff or volunteers to work with or care for children and young people.

MCC Designated Officer 
Allegations made against workers who are paid, unpaid, volunteer, agency, casual and self-employed as well as foster carers, and adoptive parents of children on Placement Orders should all be reported to the MCC Designated Officer. This should be done within 24 hours of the incident.

If you have concerns about an adult working with children or young people please report your concern using the MCC Designated Officer (LADO) Referral Form (Aug 2019)

If you wish to have an informal conversation with the MCC Designated Officer before making a referral please call 0161 234 1214.

Completed referrals forms should be emailed to quality.assurance@manchester.gov.uk – it is essential that all sections of the referral form are completed.

Referrals to the MCC Designated Officer

Schools and Colleges should follow the statutory procedures set out in Keeping Children Safe in Education (2018) when allegations of abuse are made against teachers or other school staff (including volunteers).

These procedures should be used when an allegation is made that an adult has:

  • behaved in a way that has harmed, 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.

In all cases all the general principles outlined below will apply. For convenience the term ’employer’ is used to refer to organisations that have a working relationship with the individual against whom the allegation is made.

The Employer should:

  • confirm the child(ren) are safeguarded
  • obtain a written account of the allegation from the person to whom the allegation was made
  • record details of any potential witnesses
  • record the details of any discussions and the rationale for any decisions that have been made about the child(ren) and/or adult.

They should not attempt to:

  • investigate the allegation
  • interview the child(ren)
  • interview the subject
  • interview potential witnesses.

The MCC Designated Officer should be informed of all allegations that come to an employer’s attention and appear to meet the criteria outlined above, so that they can consult other statutory agencies as appropriate.

Referrals to the MCC Designated Officer must be made within 1 working day of an allegation being made. All referrals need to be made using the MCC Designated Officer referral form. It is essential that all sections of the form are completed.

The completed referral form should to be sent to quality.assurance@manchester.gov.uk

On receipt of the referral, the MCC Designated Officer will contact the employer and:

  • confirm that the child(ren) have been safeguarded
  • consider whether further information is needed
  • discuss details of the allegation taking into account the thresholds for Designated Officer involvement
  • determine whether there is sufficient evidence or information to indicate whether the allegation is unsubstantiated or false
  • determine whether multi-agency investigation of the allegation and/or risk of harm to child is indicated
  • consider whether suspension of the individual is appropriate and discuss whether the employer has reached a decision about this.

Once an allegation has been made, the Designated Officer’s role is to:

  • capture and co-ordinate the sharing of all the information relating to the case with the officers and agencies that need to be informed
  • provide advice and guidance to the employers or voluntary organisation
  • monitor and track the progress of the case through to its conclusion, with the aim to resolve it as quickly as possible.

In addition to dealing with individual cases, the Designated Officer must also look at emerging patterns of behaviour.

Timescales:

  • referrals to the Designated Officer must be made within 24 hours of the incident
  • the Designated Officer has 3-5 working days and where a Designated Officer strategy meeting is appropriate, the Designated Officer will arrange the initial meeting to include the employer and relevant multi-agency partners
  • allegations should be resolved within three months.

How to contact the Designated Officer

By email at quality.assurance@manchester.gov.uk or telephone on 0161 234 1214.

If you wish to have an informal conversation with the MCC Designated Officer before making a referral please call 0161 234 1214.

GMSP Procedures for allegation management

These procedures must be followed by all organisations providing services for children and staff or volunteers who work with or care for children in Manchester. Any organisations that commission services for children must ensure that their arrangements with those services are consistent with the requirements in this procedure. The procedures can be found on the GMSP Procedures website at greatermanchesterscb.proceduresonline.com

Information for staff or volunteers facing an allegation

Further support and information can be found on the ATL website www.atl.org.uk/help-and-advice/ and at www.atl.org.uk/one-to-ones-lone-working

Keeping Children Safe in Education 2018 can be found on the government website www.gov.uk – a requirement within the guidance is that all staff should read it.

 

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