Social worker ‘breached four codes of practice’ in dealings with girl, 14

A senior social worker formed an “intense and inappropriate” relationship with a 14-year-old girl, a General Social Care Council conduct committee was told this week.

The first GSCC conduct case to be held in public heard that Anthony Peter Jacks talked about applying for a contact order with the teenager, known as A, when he was told that he should no longer have contact with her.

The girl was admitted to Huntercombe Stafford psychiatric hospital in the West Midlands in 2003. Jacks met her when he started working there in January 2004.

Outlining the GSCC’s case at the hearing in Manchester, barrister John Sharples said the relationship had been “intense and ultimately inappropriate”, breaching four of the GSCC’s codes of practice.

Witnesses told the hearing that Jacks had held A’s hand and stroked her hair.

Problems arose when plans were made to transfer A to a residential care home, and it was decided that contact with Jacks would be “tailed off”.

Huntercombe’s policy was that staff should not have contact with young people once they left the hospital but Jacks broke these conditions and was suspended in December 2004. Even after that he continued to ring A.

Jacks had also given A his personal mobile phone number.

Pauline Barnett, A’s social worker from Stockport Council, said Jacks’ reaction to being told his contact with A would cease was “over the top, emotional and dramatic”.

She added: “His attitude was, ‘I’m the only person who can save this girl.”

Jacks wrote directly to a judge objecting to the care plan devised by Stockport Council that cut off his contact with A.

Sarah Saunders, an expert witness for the GSCC with more than 20 years’ experience in the field, said she had never come across this before in hundreds of cases she had examined.

Jacks, who was issued with an interim suspension order from the GSCC’s register of social workers from October 2005 to July 2006, did not attend the hearing or send a legal representative.

But in a statement he claimed that any physical contact was instigated by A.


More from Community Care

Comments are closed.