Where an allegation is made against any person working in or on behalf of the setting that he or she 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 he or she would pose a risk of harm if they work regularly or closely with children (refer to the London Child Protection Procedures – Chapter 7: Allegations against staff or volunteers, who work with children)
We will apply the same principles as in the rest of this document, as well as always follow the procedures outlined in the above-mentioned document. This includes allegations against staff in their personal lives.
Whilst we acknowledge such allegations, (as all others), may be false, malicious or misplaced, we also acknowledge they may be founded. It is, therefore, essential that all allegations are investigated properly, in line with agreed procedures and outcomes recorded.
Initial Response to an allegation or concern:
Initial Action by person receiving or identifying an allegation or concern
- Treat the matter seriously and keep an open mind
- Make a written record of the information using the Record Form (Appendix 4), including the time, date and place of incident/s, persons present and what was said and sign and date this
- Immediately report the matter to the DSL or deputy in their absence or where the DSL is the subject of the allegation
Initial Action by the Designated Safeguarding Lead/Manager (The DSL will normally be the Manager).
- Obtain written details of the concern or allegation but do not investigate or interview child, adult or witnesses
- Contact the LADO within 1 working day
- Discuss with the LADO next steps using the London Child Protection Procedures Flow Charts Allegations/Concerns Against Staff (Appendix 7)
- Inform the Owner of the allegation
Subsequent Action by the Designated Safeguarding Lead/Manager
- Action to be informed by any professional strategy meeting held
- Contribute to the child protection process by attending professional strategy meetings.
- Conduct a disciplinary investigation, if an allegation strategy meeting indicates the need for this
- Maintain contact with the LADO
- Ensure clear and comprehensive records regarding the allegation, and action taken and outcome are retained on the staff member’s personnel file
- The decision to suspend a member of staff is the responsibility of the line manager, taking into account of any advice given by the LADO. The protection of children and the staff member must be the paramount consideration and suspension must be without prejudice and without delay in line with disciplinary procedures.
- Consider along with Human Resources and the LADO whether a referral to the DBS should be made