Social worker struck off for stealing from vulnerable families

A social worker who stole nearly £9,000 worth of furniture, appliances and clothing intended for vulnerable children and families has been struck off the register in Scotland.

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A social worker who stole nearly £9,000 worth of furniture, appliances and clothing intended for vulnerable children and families has been struck off the register in Scotland.

As team manager at Aberdeenshire Council, Jennifer Stephen, 47, of McGregor Crescent, Peterhead, was responsible for buying items, including essential household appliances, for families on low incomes and equipment for children with disabilities in north-east Scotland.

But it emerged that, between September 2005 and August 2008, Stephen induced colleagues to sign off purchase orders for a number of goods, which she then had delivered to her own home.

When Grampian police visited the house after a complaint from the council, they found a tumble drier, washing machine, sofa, Wii Fit games console, electric guitar and gym equipment intended for service users, according to the Aberdeen Press and Journal.

Stephen was sacked by Aberdeenshire Council after an internal inquiry and, at Peterhead Sheriff Court on 3 February, admitted defrauding the authority of £8,885. She was jailed for 28 months.

A conduct sub-committee of the Scottish Social Services Council removed Stephen from the register at a hearing last week.

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