What type of referral are you making?

Referrals to the Single Point of Advice (SPOA)

Refer to SPOA any level 4 concerns about:

  • contact or online sexual abuse
  • suspected grooming
  • physical abuse, or
  • inappropriate restraint leading to injury.

Identify the need for LADO involvement in the report.

Referrals to the LADO

Refer concerns or allegations linked to conduct directly to the LADO, or via police or social care. These include:

  • contact with children and young people through social media and personal email or phone
  • emotional abuse, bullying, threats, intimidation or derogatory comments.
  • non-sexual contact, which breaches a code of conduct or positive handling policy.
  • providing rewards and incentives which are not sanctioned within a code of conduct and could single out particular children or young people to the detriment of others.
  • being under the influence of drugs or alcohol in the workplace.
  • inappropriate use of work IT equipment in work or at home e.g. viewing adult pornography.
  • failure to protect or report a safeguarding concern.
  • involvement with Children’s Services, such as care proceedings or Child Protection Plans, for own children
  • domestic abuse.
  • arrest or prosecution for a criminal offence outside of work.

Make a referral to the LADO

Policy and procedures: health and safety, site security, concerns about leadership or management, bullying, and complaints


Allegation against a professional working with adults

Report to:

Peer on Peer Abuse

You must report concerns about abuse and sexually harmful behaviour between children to:

If staff in a setting have failed to report a concern to their safeguarding lead or this was done late, you should also:

  • make a referral to the LADO.

Advice and guidance on managing this in schools:

Mental health and self-harm

You must report cases where there is a risk of significant harm to a young person to:

You can also:

If there are concerns about staff conduct and suitability you should:

  • make a referral to the LADO.

More advice on:

Criminal exploitation

You must refer specific concerns about young people to

More guidance in:

Accidents and injuries involving children in settings

Report serious injuries with concerns about:

  • the explanation of the injury or potential injury
  • medication errors where there was a potential risk of significant harm

to the relevant agency, e.g. SPOA/Ofsted/Care Quality Commission.

You should refer concerns about staff neglect or conduct to:

  • the LADO.

Nurseries should refer to guidance from Ofsted in:

Contact arrangements

If you get requests from parents about disputes linked to contact or residence of children, you should:

  • advise them that you are not able to make decisions about unresolved issues and
  • refer to our guidance on Czone.

Decisions made by social work teams

Send concerns about:

  • a referral not being actioned
  • delays in decision making
  • case closures

to the practice manager of the social work team involved.