A social worker who sexually assaulted a vulnerable teenager has been struck off the social care register.
The girl’s parents approached Peter George, who they knew outside of work, to ask for help after she began displaying behavioural problems at home and at school, the General Social Care Council conduct committee heard.
George, who was a senior practitioner in East Sussex Council’s emergency duty service, persuaded the girl’s mother to let him deal with the matter personally rather than referring it to the local authority.
Between 2004 and 2006 he frequently met the girl alone in his car or in cafes and restaurants to discuss her problems, the committee found. It upheld two allegations that he touched the girl’s breasts.
At a hearing in London last week, the teenager also told the committee that George made highly inappropriate comments about her sexual activity and body.
The committee found her to be a credible witness. George did not attend the hearing, provide character references or produce any mitigating evidence.
“This was a sexual misconduct case in which a number of aggravating features were present,” the committee found in his absence. Those features included the girl’s relatively young age, her vulnerability and the fact George had shown no insight or remorse.
“The registrant’s behaviour had demonstrated a blatant disregard for social care standards,” the committee concluded. “His conduct put a vulnerable girl at risk and is likely to undermine confidence in social care services.”
Meanwhile, in another conduct case, a social worker who let a drug user and her boyfriend stay at his house has been cleared of misconduct by the GSCC.
Andrew Trounce was accused of putting himself and his employer at the time, Salford Council, at risk by associating with the couple.
The woman was a methadone user and her partner was arrested at Trounce’s home on suspicion of armed robbery in January 2009, but later released without charge.
But the conduct committee found that, although some of his personal decisions had been “unwise”, Trounce had not compromised the reputation of Salford Council nor his professional role.
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