England’s social work regulator is ‘making inquiries’ into whether it needs to take action against social workers following yesterday’s report on child sexual exploitation in Rotherham.
Rotherham Council was heavily criticised in yesterday’s inquiry report, which found at least 1,400 children, some as young as 11, had been raped, threatened and abused between 1997 and 2013. The inquiry found that some social care professionals had suppressed or ignored evidence of child sex abuse for more than a decade.
A Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) spokeswoman told Community Care: “We are aware of the publication of the independent inquiry into child sexual exploitation in Rotherham. We are making inquiries with Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council to determine what action, if any, we need to take.”
Rotherham Council’s chief executive Martin Kimber said yesterday that senior officers responsible for child safeguarding services during the critical periods no longer worked for the authority and the council has improved in recent years.
But the HCPC said: “We are interested in information that concerns the fitness to practice of any social worker, whether they continue to work for Rotherham Council or not. Any action we took would go through our usual fitness to practice process.”
The spokeswoman clarified that they are at the early stages of their inquiries, and any investigations of individual social workers would be dependent on what they found.
Professor Alexis Jay’s report has seen impassioned reaction across the country, with many people calling for investigations, guilty parties to be struck off and even arrests.