The role of the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) was introduced within the 'Working Together to Safeguard Children' guidance in 2006. It has been developed over time to meet changing national guidance.
In Essex the LADO is based within the Children's Safeguarding Team. The LADO gives advice and guidance on how concerns or allegations about adults working with children should be investigated.
You should contact the Children's Safeguarding Service on 03330 139 797 if you have concerns or receive a complaint or allegation that a worker/volunteer 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; or
- behaved towards a child or children in a way that indicates they may pose a risk of harm to children.
(Working Together to Safeguard Children, 2015, updated 2019)
The Local Authority Designated Officer will advise you on the action to take next.
Any referral should be followed up with a referral form. This can be accessed via the Essex Safeguarding Children Board website (see Managing Allegations in the Workforce).
The form must be completed and emailed immediately to the Duty Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO).
If a concern is raised outside of office hours, and you think a referral to Social Care is required you should contact Essex Social care on 0845 606 1212 and inform the Local Authority Designated Officer at the first available opportunity.
(Please note this is not a secure address so any information sent must be password protected)
Local Authority Designated Officers
There are four LADOs for Essex County Council: Carole Fuller, Jacquie Wilkes, Mechelle de Kock and Rebecca Scott. They share responsibility for covering the duty rota for referrals regarding concerns about the children's workforce.
For further information about the role of the LADO please see the ESCB website.
Please also see this information about data retention.