15.1 Managing Allegations - Introduction/Overview
Last updated 12/11/2018
Managing Allegations - Introduction/Overview
SCOPE OF THIS CHAPTER
This procedure should be used by all organisations where people work with children and young people, including organisations that provide staff or volunteers that work with or care for children.
This is intended to be a generic document that should complement existing professional procedures, protocols and guidance which relate to specific roles, responsibilities or professional practices. It should be read in conjunction with:
Local Safeguarding Children Boards (LSCB’s) have an explicit duty to ensure that there are effective inter agency procedures in place for dealing with allegations in respect of people who work with children. This procedure should be used by all organisations where people work with children and young people, including organisations that provide staff or volunteers that work with or care for children.
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 or children and at the same time supports the person who is the subject of the allegation.
All agencies who work with children and young people 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;
- Children’s Services;
- Early Years settings;
- Private day care providers;
- Fostering Services;
- Residential Care Providers;
- Voluntary Organisations;
- All local authority maintained schools;
- Faith schools/Academies/Free Schools;
- Independent schools;
- Further education institutions;
- Supply agencies;
- Private hospitals caring for children.
This policy should also be used when allegations are made against a person who works with children and they or their children have been subject to a child protection investigation.
Professionals who work with children as part of their employment or voluntary duties need to be aware that inappropriate behaviour in their private life may affect their suitability to work with children. This should be incorporated into their employer’s codes of conduct.
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. This 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 and regulatory bodies such as Ofsted in the case of childminders.
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, or where a foster carer is also employed in Regulated Activity.
In those circumstances both the contractor or agency, and the organisation(s) in which the accused individual works will need to be involved in dealing with the allegation.
When allegations arise against a person working with children (including volunteers) the employer should follow the procedures outlined in Working Together to Safeguard Children (2018). The 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.
This can be in connection with his/her employment or voluntary activity or in relation to a person's private life where:
- Concerns arise about a person's behaviour with regards to his/her own children
- Concerns arise about the behaviour of a partner, member of the family or other household member
- Where other information suggests they may pose a risk to any person that may demonstrate an transferable risk within their role with children
This document provides additional practice guidance to employers and Designated Officer for the Local Authority when allegations are made and/or management concerns arise. It does not replace or take priority over any aspect of employment law and should be used in conjunction with Sefton’s Local Safeguarding Children Board procedures.
Working Together to Safeguard Children covers cases of allegations that might indicate that a person may pose a risk of harm to children in his or her present position, or in any capacity.
All organisations that provide services for children or provide staff or volunteers to work with or care for children should operate a procedure for handling such allegations that is consistent with guidance and should identify a senior manager within the organisation to whom all allegations or concerns are reported.
- The welfare of the child is paramount;
- Adults about whom there are concerns should be treated fairly and honestly and should be provided with support;
- It is the responsibility of all adults to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people. This responsibility extends to a duty of care for those adults employed, commissioned or contracted to work with children and young people.