Every organisation that works with children needs to have someone that takes the lead on safeguarding and child protection. We refer to them as a nominated child protection lead but they may also be known as:
- Designated Safeguarding Officer (DSO)
- Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL)
- "Named person" for child protection
- Child protection officer
- Child protection lead
- Safeguarding or child protection coordinator.
The role may be performed by one person or split between staff. Larger organisations may have a safeguarding team. Boards of governors, trustees and management committees should also have someone who is responsible for safeguarding. In some organisations the nominated child protection lead also has other roles to perform.
You should also make sure that you have procedures in place to respond to child protection concerns when your nominated lead is absent or unavailable. This could include nominating someone who is trained to act as a deputy. You can also contact the NSPCC Helpline for advice or to report any concerns. Make sure that you keep clear records and communicate what's happened and the steps you've taken to your nominated child protection lead on their return.
Example role description for nominated child protection lead
We've created an example role description which you can use to make sure everyone in your organisation understands the important role of the nominated child protection lead. It should be used in conjunction with our information and resources on safeguarding and child protection.
Everyone who is taking the lead on safeguarding and child protection should be fully trained to carry out their role.