A local authority social worker who lied to cover up her second job as a care assistant has been admonished by the General Social Care Council.
Sandra Oteng was employed full time by Sutton Council from February 2004 to June 2006, before moving to Lewisham Council, where she remained until May 2008.
But, unbeknown to both authorities, she was also contracted to work three 12-hour shifts a week as a night care assistant for Croydon Council.
Oteng told Sutton Council that she was employed as a relief worker for a residential home “working occasionally, mostly in the weekends, as required”, the GSCC’s conduct committee was told.
When she later applied for a job at Lewisham, she failed to disclose even the existence of a second job. Oteng conceded during the conduct hearing that she had not wanted the council to know.
She also admitted falsifying the employment history section of her application to renew her registration with the GSCC.
The conduct committee was satisfied that Oteng’s actions had been dishonest. The committee took into account the explanation that her brother’s ill health had caused her to embark on such a demanding work regime. It also noted that the investigation had taken three years and had been “especially distressing” for her.
Oteng formally apologised and her former line manager confirmed that there were “no difficulties in her practice”.
But, handing Oteng a five-year admonishment, the committee said: “There could have been a potential risk to vulnerable service users in light of the registrant’s commitment to extended working hours with two employers simultaneously.”
Check www.communitycare.co.uk next week for the results of our exclusive investigation into how social workers are dealing with increasing financial pressures.
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