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 First Point of Contact (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 and discussed with the DO within 24 hours and followed up on the Managing Allegations referral form. The form MUST be completed and sent to the DO as soon as possible following the incident occurring and should be forwarded to the secure e-mail address DSP@darlington.gov.uk. If you are not sure whether a particular matter warrants a referral, make contact with the DO on the telephone numbers below within 24 hours and they will be able to advise you on the correct action to take.

Allegations Management Referral form [Word Document]

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:

Marian Garland

Telephone: 01325 406451
Secure e-mail: dsp@darlington.gov.uk

Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility. All organisations are required to comply with the Care Act 2014 in respect of managing allegations against employees (including volunteers) who work with adults with care and support needs.

If there are concerns that a ‘person in a position of trust’ who works with adults with care and support needs in either a paid or voluntary capacity has or may have abused an adult (or child) or may pose a risk to vulnerable adults (or children) the concerns must be addressed in accordance with Darlington Safeguarding Partnership Managing Allegations Policy and Guidance [PDF document]. Additional Guidance is available in the Darlington Safeguarding Partnership Safeguarding Adult Procedures [link] and

Examples of a ‘person in a position of trust’ are Health Professionals such as Doctors, Dentists, Nurses, Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists, Health Care Assistants, Paramedics, Ambulance Staff and Patient Transport. Other examples Social Workers, Social Work Assistants, Residential Care Assistants and Managers, Domiciliary Care Assistants, Personal Assistants, Police Officers, Voluntary Workers and Students involved in vocational training with adults at risk. It also includes those with Power of Attorney or an Appointeeship.

Concerns could emerge from the employee’s home and personal life as well as within their work.

Where concerns are raised about someone who works with adults with care and support needs it will be necessary for the employer (or student body or voluntary organisation) to assess any potential risk to adults with care and support needs who use their services and if necessary take action to safeguard those adults.

Examples of such concerns could include allegations that relate to a person who works with adults with care and support needs who has:

  • behaved in a way that has harmed or may harm an adult or child
  • possibly committed a criminal offence against or related to an adult or child
  • behaved towards an adult or child in a way that indicates they may pose a risk of harm to adults with care and support needs.

How to refer a concern about an employee

Where an employer has concerns about an employee who may pose a risk to adults with care and support needs the relevant information must be shared with the Safeguarding Adult Manager within the Local Authority within one working day.

If the referral meets the Safeguarding Adults criteria and there is a named adult at risk then the employer should follow the usual Safeguarding Adults referral route and submit a completed adult safeguarding concern form to the secure e-mail address ssact@darlington.gov.uk

If the concern does not refer to a named adult at risk but to more general concerns about the conduct of an employee or issues within their private life the referral should be made to the First Point of Contact Team at Darlington Borough Council on 01325 406111 or Minicom 01325 468504.

Outside of office hours it may also be necessary to inform the Emergency Duty Team (EDT) on 01642 524552 or Minicom 01642 602346 if immediate action is required to protect adults with care and support needs who may be at risk of harm.

Safeguarding is everyone's responsibility. Any person whether an employer or otherwise can raise a concern about an employee who may pose a risk to adults with care and support needs, you can discuss any concerns by contacting:

First Point of Contact Team (Adult Social Care) at Darlington Borough Council
Telephone: 01325 406111 or Minicom 01325 468504.

For further guidance on managing allegations and the responsibility of employers and when a case must be referred to the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) is available in the Darlington Safeguarding Partnership Managing Allegations Policy and Guidance [PDF document].

If you are concerned about an employee or volunteer who works with children

If you are concerned that an employee or a volunteer who works with children has abused a child (or adult) or may pose a risk to children (or adults) the allegations must be referred to the Designated Officer (DO-formerly known as Local Authority Designated Officer - LADO) within 24 hours (or one working day).