The role of the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) is pivotal in maintaining high standards of safeguarding within care homes in the UK. Although the LADO is often associated with child protection, their principles and functions can also be applied to adult social care, especially in cases where there are concerns about a person in a position of trust.
What is a Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO)?
A LADO is an individual appointed by a local authority to oversee and ensure the safety of those at risk in care settings. They play an essential role in coordinating responses to allegations against people who work with vulnerable adults. The LADO works within local safeguarding procedures and is involved from the initial phase of the allegation through to the conclusion of the case.
The LADO’s Role in Adult Social Care
The LADO’s primary duty is to manage allegations against staff, volunteers, or any individuals who have direct contact with vulnerable adults in care settings. This includes allegations that might indicate an individual poses a risk of harm or has harmed a vulnerable adult.
Providing Advice and Guidance:
Care homes can consult the LADO for expert advice on how to proceed with complex safeguarding issues. They offer guidance on thresholds for intervention and ensure that allegations are addressed appropriately.
The LADO monitors the progress of cases to ensure they are dealt with promptly and fairly. This involves liaising with employers, police, and other relevant agencies.
Accurate record-keeping is vital. The LADO maintains records of all allegations and outcomes, which are used to inform future safeguarding practices.
The LADO provides training to care homes to ensure staff are aware of safeguarding policies, procedures, and best practices.
The LADO’s Role in Multi-Agency Work
Collaboration is key in safeguarding vulnerable adults. The LADO works closely with:
- Adult Social Services: To assess the needs and provide support to the vulnerable adult.
- Police: To determine whether a criminal investigation is needed.
- Care Providers: To ensure that appropriate measures are taken to protect other vulnerable adults.
- Other Multi-Agency Partners: To provide a comprehensive approach to safeguarding.
When to Contact a LADO
Care homes should contact their LADO when:
- An allegation or concern arises about a person who works with vulnerable adults.
- There is evidence that an individual may have committed a criminal offence against or related to a vulnerable adult.
- There are concerns about an individual’s behaviour towards a vulnerable adult that indicates they may be unsuitable to work with them.
The role of the LADO in adult social care is crucial for ensuring that vulnerable adults are protected from harm. Care homes must understand when and how to engage with the LADO to uphold their safeguarding responsibilities effectively. By working together with local authorities and multi-agency partners, care homes can create a safer environment for all those in their care.
FAQ: Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) in Adult Social Care
What is a Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO)?
A LADO is an officer appointed by the local authority to manage and oversee investigations into allegations against individuals who work with vulnerable adults.
When should I contact the LADO?
Contact the LADO as soon as an allegation or concern is raised about a staff member, volunteer, or any person in a position of trust who may have harmed or posed a risk of harm to a vulnerable adult.
What kind of allegations should be referred to the LADO?
Any allegations that suggest a person working with vulnerable adults has behaved in a way that indicates they may not be suitable to work with these individuals. This includes allegations of abuse, neglect, or exploitation.
Who can make a referral to the LADO?
Referrals can be made by employers, colleagues, the vulnerable adults themselves, their families, or any other professionals who have concerns.
What information do I need to provide when making a referral?
When making a referral, you should provide details of the individual involved, the nature of the allegation, and any information relevant to the case.
Can a LADO give advice before a formal referral is made?
Yes, a LADO can provide advice and guidance on safeguarding issues even before a formal referral is made.
How does the LADO process an allegation?
The LADO will work with relevant agencies such as the police, adult social care services, and employers to gather information, assess risk, and decide on an appropriate course of action.
What happens after a referral to the LADO?
The LADO will acknowledge the referral and decide on the next steps. This may involve an initial evaluation meeting with multi-agency partners to share information and plan an investigation if necessary.
Will the LADO be involved throughout the entire investigation process?
The LADO will monitor the progress of the case and ensure that it is dealt with fairly and in a timely manner. They remain involved as long as necessary to provide oversight and coordination.
How does the LADO work with other agencies?
The LADO collaborates with various agencies such as the police, adult social care teams, regulatory bodies, and employers to ensure that all aspects of the allegation are thoroughly investigated.
What happens if an allegation is substantiated?
If an allegation is substantiated, the employer, in conjunction with the LADO and other agencies, will determine what action needs to be taken. This could include disciplinary action, dismissal, or referral to a regulatory body.
How are LADO decisions and outcomes recorded?
All decisions and outcomes are recorded by the LADO. Accurate record-keeping is essential for transparency and accountability in safeguarding practices.
What training does the LADO provide?
The LADO offers training on safeguarding procedures, how to handle allegations, and best practices for preventing abuse in care settings.
How can I contact my local LADO?
Each local authority has its own procedures for contacting the LADO. You can usually find their contact details through your local council’s website or by contacting the adult social care department directly.
If you have any further questions that are not covered by this FAQ, please do not hesitate to contact your local authority for additional information or guidance.