Managing Allegations

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

Details of how to make a referral to the Designated Officer (allegations involving employees working with children) or the Adult Contact Team (allegations involving employees working with adults with care and support needs) are available below.

Procedure for Managing Allegations against Staff and Volunteers working with Children [PDF document]

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.

How to make a referral to the Designated Officer (allegations involving employees working with children)

All allegations need to be referred to the Designated Officer (DO) (formerly known as Local Authority Designated Officer - LADO) within 24 hours where it is alleged that a person working with children has:

  • 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/ren in a way that indicated s/he is unsuitable to work with children.

It is essential that any allegation of abuse made against a person who works with children, including those who work in a voluntary capacity, are dealt with fairly, quickly and consistently, in a way which provides effective protection for the child and at the same time supports the person who is the subject of the allegation.

All referrals should reported by telephone and discussed with the DO within 24 hours. The Designated Officer should be contacted by telephone on 01325 406451. Information can subsequently be forwarded to the DO via the secure e-mail address designatedofficer@darlington.gov.uk 

If you are not sure whether a particular matter warrants a referral, make contact with the DO on 01325 406451 within 24 hours and they will be able to advise you on the correct action to take.

The procedures have been developed as a response to Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018 [External Link] which set out the statutory guidance and the responsibility placed on all employers and other organisations who provide services to children to take steps when allegations of abuse or other inappropriate behaviour towards a child are made against someone in that organisation.

The aim of the procedures are to:

  • Ensure that allegations are dealt with quickly and in a fair manner
  • Prevent unsuitable people from working with children and young people
  • Promote safe practice and challenge poor/ unsafe practice
    Contribute to effective partnership working
  • Improve practice through sharing experience and lessons learned

These procedures should be applied for anyone employed within the Darlington locality, if it comes to our attention that a person is employed outside of the Darlington area the relevant DO should be notified.

Darlington Borough Council has appointed a Designated Officer who is:

Shirley Saunders

Telephone: 01325 405292

Mobile: 07717 301557
Secure e-mail: designatedofficer@darlington.gov.uk