Social worker warned after service user exposed himself

The practitioner acted dishonestly by failing to tell his manager and record the incident in the service user's case file, the Scottish Social Services Council's conduct sub-committee found.

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A criminal justice social worker has been warned by the Scottish regulator after he failed to tell his manager that a service user had taken down his trousers and boxer shorts and exposed his groin during a meeting.

The social worker was summarily dismissed from his employment at a council in south-west Scotland in June 2011 after allegations emerged that he had asked the service user to remove his clothes during a probation meeting.

The Scottish Social Services Council’s (SSSC) conduct sub-committee dismissed this allegation based on a lack of evidence. However, it did find the social worker had committed misconduct because he did not tell his manager that the service user had exposed himself, nor did he record it properly on the system.

The social worker had therefore dishonestly “misrepresented and minimised” the events in question, the sub-committee found.

Yet he had no previous history with the regulator or his employers; he cooperated with the SSSC and his line manager had a good opinion of his ability to complete complex pieces of work.

In light of those factors, and the fact the misconduct took place over a short period of time, the conduct sub-committee decided a one-year warning would adequately protect the public.

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