A social worker who failed to complete a proper assessment on a home visit has been suspended from the register for one month.
Patricia Asige told her manager that conditions in a family’s home were “not good but adequate”, despite the lack of a working toilet. She also failed to inspect the whole of the house and did not enter the kitchen.
A conduct committee of the General of the Social Care Council found that this constituted a failure to intervene adequately to safeguard the children in the house after the visit in July 2009.
The committee found this was an isolated incident and Asige had been under “extreme pressure”. She faced “considerable hostility from one of the male parents” and a lack of support from a police officer who attended.
However, Asige, whose town of employment is listed on the register as Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, also failed to complete other assessments on time, even when children were considered to be at substantial risk.
The conduct committee noted that she had experienced a dramatic increase in her caseload after a departmental restructure and asked for some of her cases to be re-allocated. She also had high blood pressure.
But it concluded that, because of the potential for harm to children under the social worker’s care, a one-month suspension was the right sanction.
“This was serious misconduct that required a signal to be sent to the registrant, the profession and the public that this was regarded as unacceptable behaviour,” the committee said.
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