A social worker who formed an inappropriately close, paternal relationship with a 17-year-old care leaver has been suspended from the register for six months.
On one occasion, Mahomed Jeelanee Khodabux held and stroked the girl’s hand, the General Social Care Council’s conduct committee heard. On another, he told her “you still look beautiful even though you’re ill”.
He would also habitually give the girl cash from his own wallet and admitted enlisting her boyfriend to clean a flat owned by Khodabux’s son.
The conduct committee noted that Khodabux was more than 30 years older than the girl, who was about to leave care and “would have been particularly dependent upon him for guidance and support”.
Over time, the social worker demonstrated several examples of behaviour that did not respect professional boundaries, the most serious of which was the hand holding, which the committee described as a “physical and intimate action, which compromised the registrant and discomforted the service user”.
Commenting on her personal appearance by calling her “beautiful” was also inappropriate, the committee said.
However, it was satisfied that the misconduct was “naïve and ill-advised”, but not of a sexual nature: “The registrant’s motives towards [the service user] were well-meaning and paternalistic, although misjudged and inappropriate.”
Given this and the fact that the GSCC’s investigation lasted three years, the committee decided that a six-month suspension was sufficient.
Khodabux attended the first two days of the three-day hearing and gave evidence.
Read the full notice of decision
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