GSCC: Social worker ‘should have reported high caseload’

An agency social worker with 29 years' experience in the profession has been struck off after he was found guilty of failings in "almost every case" allocated to him.

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An agency social worker has been struck off the register after he failed to keep adequate records on the children in his care, in many cases because he had not carried out routine tasks and home visits.

David Alexander Fry complained that his caseload at Nottingham Council between March 2007 and June 2010 was high and exacerbated by the need to cover for others within the team, who were often off sick.

This included carrying out time-consuming contact visits in the absence of the team’s two family support workers, the General Social Care Council’s (GSCC) conduct committee heard.

There was some dispute among witnesses as to whether Fry’s workload was excessive, but between January and June 2010, when the majority of failings occurred, Fry was responsible for up to 31 children.

He also had a number of different team managers and received supervision only three times during that five-month period.

The committee accepted there were “very real pressures” on Fry at the time. However, it found him guilty of 44 separate failures over the course of his employment at the council, between March 2007 and June 2010.

Tasks he failed to carry out included: making statutory home visits, contacting other agencies involved with the children in his care, initiating medical assessments, making adequate notes and, in many cases, completing records.

“If the registrant was unable to keep up with his workload and record keeping, he should have done more to bring that to the attention of his managers, even allowing for the fact that those managers were constantly changing,” the committee said.

It concluded that the misconduct was serious and took place over a period of 15 months, therefore there was a risk it would be repeated, and decided to remove Fry from the register.

Read the full notice of decision

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