The Bichard enquiry identified a number of recommendations designed to help ensure that those who come into contact with children through their work are safe and appropriate.

Despite all efforts to recruit safely and to ensure people who work with children do so in a way that safeguards and promotes their welfare, there will still be occasions when allegations of abuse or concerns about individuals are raised.

The pan-Dorset Inter-Agency Safeguarding Procedures should be used when there is an allegation or concern that any person who works with children, in connection with his/her employment or voluntary activity, has:

  • behaved in a way that has harmed a child, or may have harmed a child
  • possibly committed a criminal offence against or related to a child
  • behaved towards a child or children in a way that indicates she or he would pose a risk of harm to children

These behaviours should be considered within the context of the four categories of abuse (i.e. physical, sexual and emotional abuse and neglect). These include concerns relating to inappropriate relationships between members of staff and children or young people.

Named Senior Officer

In order to manage allegations, each DSCB member organisation should

  • identify a named senior officer with overall responsibility for:
  • ensuring that the organisation deals with allegations;
  • resolving any inter-agency issues;
  • liaising with the DSCB on the subject.

Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO)

Dorset has a single Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) to:

  • be involved in the management and oversight of individual cases which meet the threshold;
  • provide advice and guidance to employers and voluntary organisations;
  • liaise with the police and other agencies;
  • monitor the progress of cases to ensure that they are dealt with as
  • quickly as possible, consistent with a thorough and fair process.

This LADO role is undertaken by Patrick Crawford at Dorset County Council. You can contact the LADO on 01305 221122.

For more detailed advice on what to do if an allegation is made against a member of staff, please go the Multi-agency Safeguarding Procedures and refer to the Bichard Inquiry Report