Information should be shared in a timely manner and in accordance with local information sharing protocols and current child protection procedures.
While the allegation is being considered or investigated every effort should be made to maintain confidentiality,and guard against publicity. Apart from keeping the child, parents, carers and accused person up to date on the progress of the case, in accordance with these procedures, information sharing should be restricted to those who have a need to know in order to protect children, facilitate enquiries or manage related disciplinary or suitability procedures.
It is important that any information obtained in the course of a social care enquiry that is relevant to a disciplinary case should be shared with the employer or regulatory body without delay. Similarly, police and the CPS should share relevant information, without delay, with the employer at the conclusion of their investigation or any court case, so that appropriate action can be taken.
If, during the course of an employer’s investigation, new information comes to light that raises further concerns or identifies additional risks, this should be shared with the LADO without delay, as a different course of action may need to be taken.
The police should not provide identifying information to the press or other media unless and until a person is charged, except in exceptional circumstances, e.g an appeal to trace a suspect. In such cases, partner agencies should be consulted beforehand and the reasons documented.
N.B. Ofsted should be informed of any allegation or concern made against a member of staff in any day care establishment for children under 8 or against a registered childminder, a foster carer, prospective adopter or member of staff in a residential home. Ofsted should also be invited to take part in any subsequent strategy meeting.