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Managing allegations against adults who work with children (LADO)

Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO): John Shelley – Office Hours – Monday-Friday – 9:00am-5:00pm.

Part-time LADO: Christine Dyson – Office Hours – Wednesday -9:00am-5:00pm / half day Friday

0208 545 3187

LADO Business Support Officer: Jody Louis 020 8545 3179

The MSCP expects all professionals and volunteers to have the highest standards of behaviour with regard to children and young people. These procedures will be used to look into allegations of harm by professionals and volunteers.  They are based on national statutory guidance and the London Child Protection Procedures. When an agency becomes aware that a member of staff or volunteer may have harmed a child or young person (even if in their private life outside the agency) the agency MUST use these procedures and seek advice from the Local Authority Designated Officer on how the investigation should be conducted.

The role of the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO)

Any adult working or volunteering with children at some point in their career may be subject to an allegation or concern that they have harmed a child.

The criteria for making a report to the LADO are that a member of the Children`s Workforce or volunteer may have:

  • Behaved in a way that has harmed, or may have harmed a child
  • Possibly committed a criminal offence against or related to a child
  • Behaved towards a child/children in a way that indicates they may pose a risk of harm to them.
  • Behaved or may have behaved in a way that indicates they may not be suitable to work with children.
  • Behaves in a manner that discriminates against a child on the basis of one or more of their protected characteristics.

Every local authority has a LADO to whom allegations must be reported and with whom plans should be made about how matters are progressed. The LADO is a senior member of staff who:

  • is involved in the management and oversight of individual cases which meet a certain threshold
  • provides advice and guidance to employers and voluntary organisations
  • liaises with the police and other agencies
  • monitors the progress of cases to ensure they are dealt with as quickly as possible, following a consistent, thorough and fair process.
  • Oversees potential referrals to regulatory bodies

Though allegations of abuse can be made to anyone in an organisation it is the role of the designated safeguarding lead in the workplace to take these forward and to be the link between the organisation and the LADO until the matter is resolved. When an allegation is made about an individual it must be reported to the LADO (Local Authority Designated Officer) within 24 hours.

The LADO for Merton is: John Shelley

0208 545 3187

If you are sending a LADO referral or your query is LADO related please forward to: or securely:

LADO Business support: Jody Louis

0208 545 3179

The email address and telephone number above is managed by LADO business support. They will forward your referral or consultation request to the LADO and LADO support.

In the absence of both the LADO and LADO business support a duty LADO will respond to your referral/consultation.  Referrals made to the LADO must be submitted on the referral form below and within one working day of an allegation/ concern coming to light. Guidance notes on the process are also available in the attached links below

The role of the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) is set out in chapter 2 of the HM Government Guidance Working Together to Safeguard Children (July 2018) the London Child Protection Procedures (Chapter 7,6th Edition 2017), DfE Keeping Children Safe in Education (September 2019)

LADO Forms and Guidance


MSCP Training

We regularly run training on this subject matter – please see below available courses coming up.