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Allegations against staff

Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018 sets out clear guidance about what should happen if an allegation of abuse is made against a person who works with children.   

This is supported locally by the Safeguarding Partnerships guidance on allegation management and the following:

The Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) can be contacted via the Quality Assurance and Review Service 

Clarence House
Euclid Street

Tel: (01793) 463854


All allegations of abuse of children by those who work with children must be taken seriously. Allegations against any person who works with children, whether in a paid or unpaid capacity, cover a wide range of circumstances.

This procedure should be applied when there is such an allegation or concern that a person who works with children, 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 he or she may pose a risk of harm to children

These behaviours should be considered within the context of the four categories of abuse, for example, physical, sexual and emotional abuse and neglect. These include concerns relating to inappropriate relationships between members of staff and children or young people, for example: Sexual Offences Act 2003

  • Having a sexual relationship with a child under 18 if in a position of trust in respect of that child, even if consensual (see s16-19 Sexual offences Act 2003)
  • Grooming, for example, meeting a child under 16 with intent to commit a relevant offence (see s15 Sexual Offences Act 2003‚Äč)
  • Other 'grooming' behaviour giving rise to concerns of a broader child protection nature, for example, inappropriate text  or email messages or images, gifts, socialising
  • Possession of indecent photographs  or pseudo-photographs of children

If concerns arise about the person's behaviour to her or his own children, the police and/or children's social care must consider informing the employer or organisation in order to assess whether there may be implications for children with whom the person has contact at work or in the organisation, in which case this procedure will apply.

Allegations of historical abuse should be responded to in the same way as contemporary concerns. In such cases, it is important to find out whether the person against whom the allegation is made is still working with children and if so, to inform the person's current employer or voluntary organisation or refer their family for assessment.

All references in this document to staff or members of staff should be interpreted as meaning all paid or unpaid staff or professionals and volunteers, including, for example, foster carers, approved adopters and child minders. This chapter also applies to any person, who manages or facilitates access to an establishment where children are present. 

Making safeguarding referrals to the disclosure and barring service (DBS)

If you dismiss or remove a person from regulated activity (or may have done so had they not left)’ because they have harmed or posed a risk of harm to a child or vulnerable adult, then you have a legal duty to refer the person to the DBS.

The DBS’ role is to make barring decisions about people who are referred to it (usually following an employer’s disciplinary process), with the possible consequence of the person being barred from working or volunteering with children and/or vulnerable adults.

The DBS uses a fair, thorough and consistent process that ensures that the decision it reaches is both proportionate and appropriate to the risk the person poses to children or vulnerable adults.

The DBS website provides a range of materials to help you to consider or make a referral. This includes a referral form, referral guidance, frequently asked questions and a series of fact sheets.

You may also contact the DBS Helpline on 01325 953795 for information or advice about making a referral.