A social worker has admitted giving a vulnerable mother cash to visit a Nigerian ‘prophet’, telling her she needed “a miracle”.
Paul Collett, who had been a court guardian for the woman’s children, wrote to her saying he could put her in touch with someone who could make help her make arrangements to travel to see the Prophet TB Joshua.
He enclosed a cheque for £500, two religious DVDs, a newspaper called ‘Faith Cometh’, and the details of TB Joshua’s church website, which advertises miracle cures for AIDS and cancer.
Collett, 45, is appearing before the General Social Care Council on misconduct charges. He could be banned from practising as a social worker if found guilty.
History of sexual abuse
A conduct committee heard that the woman, known as Ms A, had a history of sexual abuse and was herself a user of services.
Collett, who allegedly breached professional boundaries, wrote to Ms A in July 2007, a month after some of her children were taken into care, saying she “needed a miracle, probably several”. He asked her to keep the gift of £500 a secret.
Child allegation admitted
He also admitted allegations in relation to another child, known as Child R, while acting as her guardian. This involved video recording an interview with her about an alleged disclosure of sexual abuse by her father and failing to inform the department that had a shared duty of care for her in May 2006.
But Collett denied knowing that a court action from December 2004 preventing audio or video recording of the girl may have been in force. Collett also admitted passing gifts – two small paintings – to Child R through an intermediary and concealing them from professionals involved in her case.
All but one charge admitted
Collett has admitted all but one of the 13 charges but denies committing misconduct. His employer has been kept private to protect the identities of the children involved in the case.
Expert guide to conduct system