An inexperienced agency social worker who failed to follow proper procedures in a complex child protection case has been admonished for misconduct.
Caroline Wilson was working for Lancashire Council’s family support team in February 2007 when appointed as the key worker for Child M, whose mother had recently completed a three-year prison sentence for the manslaughter of another of her children.
Wilson, who had no previous child protection experience and had mainly worked with adults, did not inform her managers of a decision to allow Child M to return to live with her mother, a General Social Care Council conduct committee found.
The committee also found she submitted a late and “poor standard” joint assessment of the case, in which she lied about referring the child to child and adolescent mental health services.
Wilson, who works for Bury Council, admitted her handling of the case fell “far below proper professional standards”.
The committee said it found this a “troubling case” because of the social worker’s lack of experience in child protection at the time.
Taking this into account, along with the professional development she has undertaken and a character reference from her former manager, the committee placed a five-year admonishment alongside Wilson’s name on the social care register.