A social worker who did not mention that he had been involved in disciplinary investigations in his previous job has been suspended for eight months for dishonesty.
The children’s safeguarding practitioner had worked at Liverpool council for eight years before it was discovered there had been two investigations into his practice by his former employer, Sefton Council.
When employment records were destroyed in a flood, the social worker filled in his new personnel form stating his previous job had been in Harare, Zimbabwe a Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) committee was told.
The lie was only uncovered when another employee told his manager she had worked with someone with his name at Sefton and wondered if it was the same person.
Enquiries at the neighbouring borough revealed that he had been subject to two disciplinary investigations because of concerns about his practice but had resigned before the second had concluded. One of these involved concealing information about statutory visits.
His next job at Essex had been terminated when a reference describing the disciplinary matters was received. He was dismissed for gross misconduct by Liverpool following this investigation in 2013.
The social worker claimed his failure to give a true account of his employment history was due to personal and professional reasons including the death of a relative and alleged “historic action by other professionals against him”, including suggestions of racism. He also said he been given little time to complete the form on top of a heavy workload.
However the HCPC concluded he had been through a decision-making process and deliberately failed to disclose the information, the HCPC concluded.
The committee accepted the testimony from his manager that “as a black woman she would have taken immediate steps to address any concerns [about racism]” and that all employees had been given additional time to complete the paperwork.
The committee discounted evidence about the social worker’s competence with the suspension solely as the result of his dishonesty.