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Allegations Against Staff and Volunteers (ASV) Who Work With Children

All organisations providing services to children and young people must ensure that their staff and volunteers (paid, unpaid, casual, agency and self-employed workers) are safe to do so.

Safer Recruitment and Safe Practice procedures and policies are a core part of ensuring suitability of the children’s workforce.

Where concerns do arise regarding the behaviours of a person in a position of trust, it is the legal duty of the employer or supervisory authority (or the individual themselves if they are a sole trader) to refer the concern to the Local Authority’s Designated Officer (LADO).

LADO Thresholds

The Allegations against staff & volunteers (ASV) / LADO thresholds apply to individuals in positions of trust who have:

  • Harm threshold: Behaved in a way that has harmed a child, or may have harmed a child;
  • Criminal threshold: Possibly committed a criminal offence against or related to a child;
  • Risk / Transferable Risk threshold: Behaved towards a child or children in a way that indicates they may pose a risk of harm to children.
  • Suitability threshold: Behaved or may have behaved in a way that indicates they may not be suitable to work with children.

ASV / LADO procedures apply to behaviours of concern within the work context, as well as concerns in personal life. Examples of concerns in personal life that must be reported to LADO (and should be a matter of staff policy) are:

  • when professionals’ own children become subject of safeguarding concerns
  • when concerns are raised about the professional perpetrating domestic abuse, coercive control (note that this relates to concerns rather than convictions/arrests/cautions)
  • when concerns are raised about the professional perpetrating sexual assault (note that this relates to concerns rather than convictions/arrests/cautions) 

Burden of Proof

The LADO process is a civil law process and operates on a balance of probabilities rather than beyond any reasonable doubt as in criminal law.  

The wide body of research and the evidence base should always be consulted when considering certain types of evidence against one another, rather than applying the more simplistic criminal law mindset of ‘innocent until proven guilty’.

Referring to LADO

Any concerns related to the harm or possible harm of a child by a member of staff or volunteer must be reported to LADO within 24h, or sooner:

Following an initial conversation, the LADO Referral Form Updated April 2024.docx  must be completed.

Haringey’s Designated Officer: Finola Owens

Procedures & Statutory Guidance for LADO

For more information, please see the Haringey Haringey LADO Procedures and the regional London Child Protection Procedures - Chapter 7 (external link).

Haringey Procedures are in line with the statutory guidance:

View the latest LADO annual report.

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