Social worker left colleague in tears after kissing her

An approved social worker has been warned about his conduct for kissing a female colleague on the cheek and later leaving her in tears.

A conduct committee of the General Social Care Council upheld allegations of misconduct against David Holder, 65, who was employed by Gloucestershire Council at the time.

He was given a three-year admonishment after the committee found he had behaved inappropriately towards three female colleagues during a five-day course at an Exeter hotel in April 2007.

The committee was told that he had discussed confidential details about service users in the hotel bar, and appeared at the bedroom door of one of the women early one morning when she was dressed in her nightclothes.

Then, after leaving the bar one evening, Holder followed another woman to her room and asked for a kiss. He then “immediately placed a kiss upon her cheek and walked off”, the hearing was told. 

Later, Holder stared at the woman during a workshop and tried to pair with her for an exercise, which led to her rushing to the toilets and breaking down in tears.

Holder, who represented himself at the hearing in London, accused the women of lying in their statements and described the incidents as “minor”.

Although Holder had a long record of public service, starting in the Royal Army Medical Corps followed by 39 years in social care, the committee found him to be an unreliable witness and upheld all the allegations.

The incidents occurred within the period of a written warning about similar inappropriate behaviour.

Holder told the committee he was retired and did not plan to practise as a social worker again.

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