A fostering agency employee has become the first person to be convicted of pretending to be a qualified social worker.
Tracey Smith, from Oxhey, Hertfordshire, was employed as an unqualified assistant social worker between November 2009 and August 2010.
During this time, she called herself a senior supervising social worker and line manager on references for two former colleagues.
She also asked a student social worker at the agency to describe her as a registered practitioner in a job application.
The General Social Care Council took Smith to Harrow Magistrates’ Court, London, on 2 March. Smith pleaded guilty and was fined £230.
This is the first conviction for using the protected social worker title. The Care Standards Act 2000 made it a criminal offence to pretend, with intent to deceive, to be a qualified and registered social worker.
“It is important that the public has faith that someone who uses the title ‘social worker’ is qualified, trained and adheres to high professional standards,” said GSCC chief executive Penny Thompson.
“This outcome demonstrates that there are consequences for anyone trying to abuse public trust by deliberately misleading others about their professional status.”
What do you think?Join the debate on CareSpace
Keep up to date with the latest developments in social care. Sign up to our daily and weekly emails