A senior social worker who failed to act on a school’s concerns that a child was being abused has been struck off the social care register.
Alcus Dunn was working for Hertfordshire Council in April 2008 when the school informed him that the girl had bruising on the top of her thigh and had passed urine with a pink tinge to it. But Dunn did not record this in his child protection report, a General Social Care Council conduct committee found.
Dunn was not present at the hearing, but he had told the council’s investigating officer that he thought the school would include its concerns in a separate report.
But the committee also found that Dunn did not tell a manager or report that the child was missing to the police, after failing to find the child during a visit to her home. Instead he completed a report suggesting all was well.
On another occasion in January 2008, Dunn did not notify the emergency duty team that a looked-after child was missing, despite being instructed to do so by his manager.
In addition, the committee heard evidence from a number of witnesses that Dunn had failed in general to keep adequate case records.
Dunn had previously admitted that he found it difficult to balance case work and recording, but the committee said: “In his wholesale failure to keep adequate records of the children on his caseload, [Dunn] failed in a most fundamental way, making it very difficult for colleagues to know what actions had been taken, what visits were made and what the current position of each child was.”
It concluded that removal from the register was the only appropriate sanction because Dunn had failed in a number of key areas, thereby putting vulnerable children in his care at risk of harm.