SEFTON SCP Safeguarding Policies and Procedures Online Manual

    15.4 The Senior Manager's Initial Response

    Last updated 21/10/2021

    Managers need to understand which behaviours to address directly through their complaints or disciplinary procedures and under what circumstances they should contact the LADO.

    What constitutes appropriate or inappropriate behaviour will vary depending upon the context and nature of the work undertaken. All employers have a responsibility to set personal and professional boundaries for their staff and to be explicit about what behaviours are illegal, inappropriate or unacceptable.

    The Senior Manager must not investigate the matter by interviewing the person subject of an allegation, any child(ren) or potential witnesses. The Senior Manager must:

    • Obtain written details of the allegation, signed and dated, from the original recipient;
    • Record any other information at their disposal i.e. what else is known about any of the individuals implicated – length of service, specific role within the organisation, previous/current level of contact with the child(ren) involved, details of any relevant plans pertaining to the child(ren) implicated, (e.g. behaviour management plan), whether there have been any previous relevant concerns/allegations/disciplinary issues;
    • Whether the subject of the allegation has any children of their own or children who reside at their home address or for whom they have caring responsibilities;
    • Check to see whether any contemporaneous records exist which might relate to the alleged incident. (For example, incident report, behaviour records);
    • Countersign and date an updated record of discussions and decisions.

    Discussions about suspension/change of duties may take place and while other professionals may wish to express a view, the decision to suspend/change duties rests ultimately with the employer and should be in accordance with each organisation's own policies.

    If the allegation meets, any of the criteria above the Senior Manager must refer the matter to the LADO within 24 hours of being notified of the allegation.

    This is done by forwarding the completed referral form electronically together with any reports, incident sheets, etc. A copy must also be retained as per the organisation's policies and procedures.

    In the event that the decision about whether to refer to the LADO is not clear, then the Senior Manager must contact the LADO via telephone in order to discuss and agree whether the information is within or outside the scope of these procedures. 

    Where a notification to LADO is made the employer should inform the subject of the allegation as soon as possible after consulting the LADO. However, where an allegations management strategy meeting is needed, or it is clear that police or children's social care may need to be involved, that should not be done until those agencies have been consulted and have agreed what information can be disclosed to the person. If the person is a member of a union or professional association they should be advised to seek support from that organisation.

    If the parents/carers of the child(ren) concerned are not already aware of the allegation, the LADO will also discuss how and by whom they should be informed. In circumstances in which the police or children’s social care may need to be involved, the LADO should consult those colleagues about how best to inform parents. However, in some circumstances an employer may need to advise parents of an incident involving their child straight away, for example if the child has been injured while in the organisation's care and requires medical treatment.

    The LADO will notify the employer/senior manager of any notifications made directly to the Police or Sefton's MASH of which the organisation may not otherwise be aware.