The Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO), also known as the designated officer, is a role set out in the government guidance Working Together to Safeguard Children (2023).

The LADO is responsible for overseeing the investigation of allegations made against volunteers or members of staff in ‘positions of trust’ and who work with children (up to 18 years).

Managing allegations

In line with Working Together to Safeguard Children (2023), the managing allegations process will be followed if a volunteer or member of staff is alleged to have:

  1. Behaved in a way that has harmed a child, or may have harmed a child;
  2. Possibly committed a criminal offence against or related to a child; or
  3. Behaved towards a child or children in a way that indicates he or she would pose a risk of harm to children.
  4. Behaved or may have behaved in a way that indicates they may not be suitable to work with children.

These four criteria relate to a person’s behaviour in the workplace, the community and in their home and social life.

If these criteria are met, LADO will provide advice and guidance to employers and voluntary organisations to ensure investigations are full, timely and fair. LADO will also liaise with the Police and Social Care where necessary and refer on to regulatory bodies as needed.

If you have concerns

If you have concerns regarding someone who is in a ‘position of trust’ and works with a child, including foster carers and volunteers, these should be reported to the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO). It is a statutory requirement to do this within 1 working day.

Portsmouth’s LADO can be contacted by:

For details of how the council uses information about allegations against Persons in Positions of Trust, please visit our Data Protection Privacy Notice page.

When receiving an allegation:

  • Treat it seriously and keep an open mind
  • Do not investigate
  • Do not make assumptions or offer alternative explanations
  • Do not promise confidentiality
  • Record the details using the child/adult’s own words
  • Note time/date/place of incident(s), persons present and what was said
  • Sign and date the written record
  • Do not inform the subject if this might place the child at risk of further harm or jeopardise any future investigation

Further information about allegations procedure can be found at PCSP website.