The British Association of Social Workers has been slammed for its representation of Lisa Arthurworrey during her appeal hearing against the General Social Care Council.
Arthurworrey, the social worker at the centre of the Victoria Climbie case, successfully appealed against the GSCC’s decision not to register her. But in its judgment the Care Standards Tribunal said her win had been “despite not because of her representation”.
The tribunal panel criticise BASW’s decision to allow one of its case workers to present the case rather than a lawyer, arguing: “If ever there was a case for BASW to instruct a QC this was it”.
It adds: “Social workers are entitled to the best possible representation and not feel they are being let down. We felt that in this case Ms Arthurworrey did not receive strong advice focusing on the issues.”
It also notes that Arthurworrey’s representative Martin Weinbren was unable to attend the last day of the hearing in March because he had made a commitment to represent Jersey whistleblower Simon Bellwood.
Uncalled for remarks
BASW chief executive Ian Johnston has hit back at what he described as “uncalled for remarks”.
“When all is said and done this action was successful. We did seek to have this case deferred because our representative had to go to Jersey but that request was denied. Appointing lawyers is done on a case by case basis and where we think we can handle the matter we do.”
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