The role of the Designated Safeguarding Officer

Choosing a Designated Safeguarding Officer

It is recommended that at least one person in your organisation is a “designated safeguarding officer”. This person will take the lead on safeguarding for your organisation.
Nominating someone to undertake the role may be the first task your group should consider. The person chosen should:

  • be someone with authority in the group such as a manager or team leader
  • a paid member of staff if possible
  • have a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check.
  • have at least two references which are followed up.
    You may wish to consider appointing a deputy in case of sickness or leave.


  1. The Designated Safeguarding Officer are the first point of contact for all staff and volunteers to go to for advice if they are concerned about a child (this may also need to be out of hours so staff and volunteers should always know how to contact them or you can also appoint a Deputy);
  2. They have a higher level of safeguarding training and knowledge than the rest of the staff and should have completed Working Together to Safeguard Children and Young People;
  3. They are responsible for ensuring that their organisation’s safeguarding policy is kept up to date and complete the Section 11 audit tool every 2 years;
  4. They ensure that they comply with safe recruitment procedures for new staff members and their induction.
  5. They support staff to assist in information regarding concerns and support decision making about whether staff concerns are sufficient enough to notify Children’s Social Work Services or whether other courses of action are more appropriate, for example the completion of an Early Help Approach. (CSWS)
  6. They make formal referrals to the Duty and Advice Team;
  7. They ensure that concerns are logged and stored securely
  8. They have joint responsibility with the management committee or Board of Trustees to ensure that the organisation’s safeguarding policy and related policies and procedures are followed and regularly updated;
  9. They are responsible for promoting a safe environment for children and young people;
  10. They know the contact details of relevant statutory agencies eg Children’s Social Work Services (CSWS), Police, Local Safeguarding Children Board, and the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) for allegations against staff.

It is not the responsibility of the designated safeguarding officer to decide whether a child has been abused or not- that is the responsibility of investigative statutory agencies such as Children’s Social Work Services or the police. However keeping children safe is everybody’s business and all staff should know who to go to and how to report any concerns they may have about a child being harmed or at risk of being harmed.

If you are the Designated Safeguarding Officer for your organisation, we recommend that you register with the LSCP to ensure that you are kept up to date with all the latest safeguarding information from the Board and details of events and training.

On registering you will receive a helpful pack of information to assist you in your role.


We've developed a new section of the website full of information on safeguarding during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you're continuing to provide a service to children, young people and families during this time, make sure you're aware of the most up to date information and keep checking back to the site for updates.