An experienced social worker who assaulted his wife and threw her mobile phone into a toilet has been reprimanded by the General Social Care Council.
Luke Taruvinga, who works for Islington Council in London, received a caution from Kent Police for common assault and criminal damage following the incident in July 2008.
But he did not disclose the caution to his employer until the following August and never reported it to the GSCC.
Taruvinga admitted all of the allegations put to the GSCC conduct committee. In an interview before the hearing, he said his actions had been “despicable” and said he was “totally ashamed” of how he had treated his wife.
He told the conduct committee that he took full responsibility for the incident.
But the committee decided that any form of assault in a domestic setting was a serious matter, as was the criminal damage caused to his wife’s mobile phone.
“Although essentially arising out of an isolated incident, the registrant’s behaviour dropped below that expected of a professional social worker,” the committee found.
The panel added that it was “unimpressed” by Taruvinga’s explanation that he failed to disclose the police caution because he thought his employer would report it to the GSCC.
“As a professional social worker it is incumbent upon him to know both his employer’s policies and procedures and those required by his regulatory body,” the committee said.
However, the committee acknowledged Taruvinga’s previously unblemished 10-year work record and the fact he has undergone training on domestic violence and stress management since the incident in 2008.
Taruvinga continues to work at Islington Council, which has supported him to become a team manager in its children’s services department. The council provided positive testimonials about his dedication and professionalism at work.
In addition, a letter from Taruvinga’s wife, to whom he is still married, described him as a good husband and father.
The committee decided the assault was a one-off incident and placed an admonishment next to Taruvinga’s name on the social care register for six months.
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