15.9 Strategy Discussions
Last updated 21/10/2021
Where there is reasonable cause to suspect that a child has suffered, is suffering, or is likely to suffer significant harm, then a strategy meeting should be convened in accordance with the SSCP safeguarding procedures. In these cases the strategy meeting should include a representative of the employer unless there are good reasons not to do that, and take account of any information the employer can provide about the circumstances or context of the allegation. The LADO will be consulted as part of this process and may also attend.
In cases where a strategy meeting (Section 47) is not considered appropriate because the threshold of harm is not reached, but a police investigation might be needed, the LADO should conduct an allegation management strategy meeting with the police, the employer, and any other agencies involved with the child to evaluate the allegation and decide how it should be dealt with. (N.B. The police must be consulted about any case in which a criminal offence may have been committed). It should share available information about the allegation, the child, and the person against whom the allegation has been made, consider whether a police investigation is needed and if so, agree the timing and conduct of that. In cases where a police investigation is necessary the meeting should also consider whether there are matters which can be taken forward in a disciplinary process in parallel with the criminal process, or whether any disciplinary action will need to await completion of the police enquiries and/or prosecution.
If the complaint or allegation is such that it is clear that investigation by police and/or enquiries by social care are not necessary, or the strategy meeting/discussion decides that is the case, the LADO should discuss next steps with the employer.