A senior social worker who left vulnerable children at risk by failing to maintain clear and up-to-date records and carry out safeguarding tasks in a timely manner has been suspended from the register.
Julie Mirvis had been employed as a social worker at Kent council since 2003. In November 2010, following a child protection conference for one particular family, concerns were raised about her record keeping.
Her caseload was audited and it emerged that her case records “generally contained serious omissions”, a panel of the Health and Care Professions Council’s (HCPC) conduct and competence committee heard.
There was also evidence that Mirvis had not completed tasks in a timely manner, including carrying out statutory visits to vulnerable service users.
This was despite the fact that Kent council provided staff with extra training to improve their record keeping after Ofsted rated its children’s services inadequate in 2010.
Mirvis’ caseload was frozen by Kent following the discovery, because she had a backlog of work to be completed before she could be allocated new cases.
However, she was unable to complete the backlog and was eventually dismissed for gross incompetence in June 2012.
Finding the majority of allegations against Mirvis proved, the HCPC concluded that children had not been adequately safeguarded as a result of her failings.
“The panel is in no doubt that the lack of competence exhibited by the registrant over several cases, notwithstanding training and extra supervision, amounted to a serious lack of competence,” said panel chair Gordon Sutehall.
There was no evidence that Mirvis had taken any steps to improve her practice, Sutehall added, so the risk of recurrence remained high.
The panel decided to suspend her from the register for 12 months.