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Luton Borough Council

Reporting a concern about an adult who works with children

Making a local authority designated officer referral, managing allegations about adults working with children.

A referral should made to the LADO (Local Authority Designated Officer) when it is alleged (or there is a concern) that a person who works or volunteers with children has:

  • behaved in a way that has harmed a child, or may have harmed a child and/or;
  • possibly committed a criminal offence against or related to a child and/or;
  • behaved towards a child or children in a way that indicates he or she may pose a risk of harm to children; and/or
  • behaved or may have behaved in a way that indicates they may not be suitable to work with children.

Timescale: the LADO should be informed within one working day of an allegation or concern being received. In urgent cases the LADO should be contacted straight away.

Significant harm: in the event a child is reported to have been significantly harmed, including circumstances in which a child has received a mark or injury, you must also contact the MASH on 01582 547653.

Important notice for social workers or social work team managers. If the incident or concern being referred to LADO relates to a child open to Children’s Social Care you must first consider if the matter meets threshold for a strategy meeting.

Please remember that a LADO Joint Evaluation Meeting (JEM) does not replace a strategy meeting. If a strategy meeting is held the LADO will try attend but will also consider holding a separate JEM to consider the issues the allegation raises about the professional or volunteer.

Telephone contact with the LADO: should you wish to discuss the allegation or concern with the LADO service you are encouraged to do so. We can be contacted by telephone on 01582 548069.

A telephone discussion may be helpful if you are unsure whether the matter needs to be referred or would you benefit from further advice or guidance.

When dealing with an allegation or concern please;


  • treat it seriously and keep an open mind
  • make a note of the allegation reported recording the time/date/place of incident and what the reporting person said
  • refer to your managing allegations against people who work with children’ policy.

Do not

  • investigate
  • make assumptions or offer alternative explanations
  • promise confidentiality
  • ask those involved (children or adults, witnesses) to write their own account at this stage. The taking of ‘statements’ should be avoided at this stage
  • inform the member of staff/volunteer if this might place the child/ren at risk or jeopardise any future investigation
© 2024 Luton Council, Town Hall, Luton LU1 2BQ