A social worker has been suspended for two years for forming an inappropriate relationship with a vulnerable service user.
Daniel Bhim-Rao encouraged a close and dependent relationship with Ms X when he was her allocated social worker despite know that she was extermely vulnerable, found a General Social Care Council conduct committee.
Later, in 2002, when he was not her social worker, Bhim-Rao pursued a close and sexual relationship with her which, given that he knew of her vulnerability and past history, also amounted to misconduct.
Though he ended the relationship in November 2002, he then sent her text messages after she had been admitted to the hospital, which the conduct committee considered “wholly inappropriate”.
He continued to send her texts from July 2003 to March 2004 even after Ms X asked him to stop.
Though the committee found that Bhim-Rao abused his position of trust and power, it decided not to strike him off because he had worked continuously as a social worker since 2004 and had no other disciplinary matters recorded against him. He has also not contacted Ms X since 2004.
Do practitioners know the limits of inappropriate behaviour?