A social worker who failed to safeguard a baby during a night shift while secretly working for another employer during the day has been officially warned about her conduct.
Ngozi Agbeze was asked to look after a baby suffering from illness while working for an Action for Children residential unit in Birmingham in November 2006.
A General Social Care Council conduct committee found that although the social worker advised the mother to feed, change and settle the baby girl in a cot, she did not check on the baby personally or ensure that the mother had carried out the instructions before leaving the flat.
The Bonner House residential centre, which has since closed, was intended to provide families with intensive support for the parenting of their children.
The committee heard that she had walked down the corridor and listened for any noise, but concluded that the social worker, who was fully aware of the baby’s ill health, “knew what she ought to do and, in short, did not do it”.
Agbeze also failed to tell Action for Children that while working with the charity for 30 hours a week, she was simultaneously employed full time by Coventry Council between June 2004 and September 2007.
This, according to the conduct committee, could have had a potential impact on service users. However, it accepted that this was “an act of omission” rather than dishonesty and decided a five-year admonishment was proportionate and fair.
David Derbyshire, head of performance improvement for Action for Children, said Agbeze’s professional conduct first came under the spotlight in March 2006.
“Initially these concerns were addressed by providing her with further training and additional support,” he said. “However, subsequent to further concerns arising in November 2006, Action for Children referred her to the GSCC.”