Managing Allegations (Local Authority's Designated Officer)
Role of the Local Authority's Designated Officer
The role of the Designated Officer for the Local Authority (DO) is set out in Government guidance Working Together to Safeguard Children (DfE).
Local Authorities should have a Designated Officer for the Local Authority (DO) to be involved in the management and oversight of individual cases. The Designated Officer for the Local Authority (DO) should provide advice and guidance to employers and voluntary organisations, liaising with the police and other agencies and monitoring the progress of cases to ensure that they are dealt with as quickly as possible, consistent with a thorough and fair process;
- any allegation should be reported immediately to a senior manager within the organisation. The Designated Officer for the Local Authority (DO) should also be informed within one working day of all allegations that come to an employer’s attention or that are made directly to the police; and
- if an organisation removes an individual (paid worker or unpaid volunteer) from work such as looking after children (or would have, had the person not left first) because the person poses a risk of harm to children, the organisation must make a referral to the Disclosure and Barring Service. It is an offence to fail to make a referral without good reason.
The Designated Officer for the Local Authority (DO) role applies to paid, unpaid, volunteer, casual, agency and self-employed workers. The Designated Officer for the Local Authority (DO) is involved from the initial phase of the allegation through to the conclusion of the case.
Their role is to give advice and guidance to employers and voluntary organisations; liaise with the Police, when necessary and other agencies, and monitor the progress of cases to ensure that they are dealt with in a timely manner and consistent with a thorough and fair process.
The Designated Officer for the Local Authority (DO) helps co-ordinate information-sharing with the right people and will also monitor and track any investigation, with the aim to resolve it as quickly as possible.
The Designated Officer for the Local Authority (DO) should be alerted to all cases in which it is alleged that a person who works with children has:
- behaved in a way that has harmed, or may have harmed, a child
- possibly committed a criminal offence against children, or related to a child
- poses a risk of harm to children
What does the Designated Officer for the Local Authority (DO) do?
Provides an ‘Initial Discussion’ which allows for the giving of advice and guidance relating to the most appropriate way of managing the allegation or concern, and most importantly will help establish what the ‘next steps’ should be in terms of investigating the matter further. See flowchart regarding managing allegations process.
To contact Sefton's Designated Officer for the Local Authority (DO) tel: 0151 934 3783.
Sefton's Designated Officer for the Local Authority Referral Form
On conclusion of an internal investigations, a senior manager from within the employing agency of the adult concerned, should complete and submit a feedback form to the Designated Officer for the Local Authority (DO).
Managing Allegations Information Leaflets:
Leaflet for Employers
Leaflet for Employees
Leaflet for Parents/Carers
To view the Managing Allegations Procedures, see Section 15 of Sefton LSCB Multi-Agency Safeguarding Procedures.
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.
On 1 December 2012 the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) and the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) merged to form a new organisation, the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). The legal duty to make referrals remains, however referrals should now be addressed to the DBS.
The DBS’ website is www.homeoffice.gov.uk/DBS and provides a range of materials to help you to consider or make a referral. This includes a Referral Form, Referral Guidance, FAQs and a series of Fact Sheets.
You may also contact the DBS Helpline on 01325 953795 for information or advice about making a referral.