The Designated Officer or team of officers (previously LADO) is a local authority role responsible for managing and overseeing concerns, allegations or offences relating to staff and volunteers in any organisation across a local authority area. .
Working Together to Safeguard Children (2015) explains the function of the Designated Officer (or team) in Chapter 2 Organisational responsibilities.
The guidance states that allegations against people who work with children should not be dealt with in isolation from welfare concerns about the children concerned. All organisations should make contact with the Designated Officer in their area if they have a concern that a member of staff, volunteer, casual worker, agency or self-employed worker, or any adult in a position of trust in their organisation has behaved in a way that has harmed, or may have harmed, a child possibly committed a criminal offence against children, or related to a child behaved towards a child or children in a way that indicates s/he is unsuitable to work with children.
The Designated Officer is involved from the initial phase of the allegation through to the conclusion of the case, whether or not a police investigation continues.
They will provide advice, guidance and help to determine whether the allegation sits within the scope of the procedures.
The Designated Officer helps co-ordinate information-sharing with the right people and will also monitor and track any investigation, with the aim to resolve it as quickly as possible.If you need to contact your Designated Officer , please consult your Children’s Social Care team in your Local Authority, or your Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) .