A fostering assessment social worker who lied to her manager about her efforts to become a foster carer has been struck off the social care register.
Simone Warmington was working for Birmingham Council’s adoption and fostering assessment team between February and June 2008 when she applied to Foster Carer Associates to become a foster carer.
But she did not tell her employer about the potential conflict of interest and took unauthorised time off work to attend training at the fostering agency, a conduct committee of the General Social Care Council was told.
To cover it up, she recorded on her timesheet that she had been visiting a family and then worked from home.
Warmington resigned before a Birmingham Council disciplinary investigation could be completed.
When she later applied for a social work position through an agency, Warmington lied on the references that a senior practitioner at Birmingham had been her line manager, the committee found.
And when she then gained employment as an agency worker in a duty and assessment team, she forged signatures on her timesheet and denied being subject to any disciplinary proceedings in her previous job.
“The registrant’s behaviour demonstrated a pattern of repeated dishonesty involving deception, untruthfulness and forgery over a considerable period,” the GSCC conduct committee found.
“Not only had she been repeatedly dishonest, but had also sought to conceal her dishonesty in applying for jobs by failing to reveal that she had been the subject of a disciplinary investigation and by providing inappropriate referees.”
The committee accepted that Warmington’s failure to tell Birmingham Council that she was undergoing assessment as a prospective foster carer may have been an innocent admission.
However, she had been repeatedly dishonest and demonstrated a lack of insight, the committee found. “Confidence in social care services would be undermined if the registrant was not removed,” it concluded. Warmington did not attend the hearing.
Social worker dressed children in bin bags
In another case, a social worker has been admonished for dressing children in bin bags and giving them plaque tablets during a home visit.
Carmen Smith admitted placing bin liners over the children after cutting holes for their heads and arms while working for the London Borough of Merton’s family support team in April 2009.
She also administered tablets that would show up any plaque stains on their teeth.
A GSCC conduct committee found Smith’s behaviour, if repeated in the future, would expose vulnerable children to “unacceptable risks of suffocation”. The children could have had an allergic reaction to the tablets, it added.
However, Smith had displayed “considerable insight” into her failings and the committee was satisfied it was a one-off incident. It admonished her for two years.
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