Allegations Against Professionals
To manage allegations against professionals, every Local Authority appoints a Designated Officer (DO). The DO works within Children’s Services and 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, or
- behaved towards a child or children in a way that indicates s/he may pose a risk to children. (Working Together 2015)
The term “professional” in this context includes paid employees, volunteers, casual/agency staff and self-employed workers who will have contact with children as a part of their role. The DO ensures that all allegations or concerns about professionals or adults working or volunteering with children are recorded appropriately, monitored and progressed in a timely and confidential way. The DO is involved from the initial phase of the allegation through to the conclusion of the case. The DO provides 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.
The London Child Protection Procedure (Part A) and Practice Guidance (Part B) are fully adopted by Hounslow Safeguarding Children Partnership and its partner agencies.
- report it to the Designated Senior Manager within your organisation as soon as possible, however trivial it may seem;
- make a signed and dated written record of your concerns, observations or the information you have received to pass on to the Designated Senior Manager;
- maintain confidentiality and guard against publicity while an allegation is being considered or investigated and follow local information sharing protocols
You should not:
- attempt to deal with the situation yourself;
- make assumptions, offer alternative explanations or diminish the seriousness of the behaviour or alleged incidents;
- keep the information to yourself or promise confidentiality;
- take any action that might undermine any future investigation or disciplinary procedure, such as interviewing the alleged victim or potential witnesses, or informing the alleged perpetrator or parents or carers.