Social worker who submitted report 786 days late struck off

The HCPC said the social worker had "breached the fundamental tenets of her profession"

Photo: Chris Titze Imaging

A social worker who was found to have a report 786 days overdue has been struck off by the Health and Care Professions Council.

The social worker had also not completed risk assessments, failed to progress direct payments quickly and did not complete support plans for five service users, a conduct and competence committee panel found.

The practice “had the potential to cause harm to service users and undermine public confidence in the profession”, the panel said.

The HCPC was alerted to the social worker’s poor practice when a manager’s review of her human resources portfolio, supervision and training records identified “concerning trends”.

Shocked

One case summary for a service user, which should have been due within five days, was not forwarded to her manager until it was 786 days – over two years – late.

The manager had been sent a request to authorise closing the service user’s case, and was “shocked”.

The social worker’s supervising manager also had to spend “considerable time” going through a partially completed risk assessment by the registrant which meant they could not look at her other cases, the panel found.

“The risk assessment was deficient in several respects and registrant was asked to complete it before the next supervision, however that did not materialise.”

The social worker did not engage with the panel, who concluded that she had “breached the fundamental tenets of her profession”, and decided to strike her off.

30 Responses to Social worker who submitted report 786 days late struck off

  1. Paul November 16, 2016 at 12:38 pm #

    I do wonder why the manager had not had their eye on the ball sooner

    • Luke November 16, 2016 at 1:15 pm #

      Yes, surely there is a significant supervision issue here that seems to have been brushed over.

    • Nicole November 17, 2016 at 2:53 pm #

      I feel the manager should also have consequences for not effectively supervising his/her staff properly. There’s no way this could have been missed if supervision was as its supposed to be. Whether monthly or weekly. No excuse

  2. Patricia lowe November 16, 2016 at 12:53 pm #

    Where was the manager’s oversight and use of supervision in all this. (S)he should have always been aware of the caseload and progress of each case.

  3. Anonymous November 16, 2016 at 1:11 pm #

    And where was regular supervision and managerial oversight of the workers caseload? Surely the manager should be reprimanded also?

  4. Catherine November 16, 2016 at 2:29 pm #

    There indeed appears to be a serious lapse of supervision – a report that 786 days late? C’mon! I hope there’s some come back for the line manager, too

  5. angel November 16, 2016 at 3:02 pm #

    it is ok to struck the social worker who is constantly under pressure. But does the extra money paid to managers while social workers work for minimum payment not to ensure that they supervise and check what social workers do? The manager should have been struck off too.

    However, as a social worker she should be reducing exposure to risk for the vulnerable which she has not done in this case. HCPC is definitely right because social workers are reminded of accountability and one of the things that they are taught is to challenge inadequate practices.

  6. Annonymous November 16, 2016 at 3:44 pm #

    I echo the concern regarding appropriate management oversight, but as a Safeguarding Manager I have to ask where the individual Social Workers sense of responsibility was?! Grossly concerning! It’s not the Suoervisors responsibility to complete the pieces of work an autonomous and capable Social Worker was employed to complete; they didn’t. Shameful; the responsibility remains with the individual Social Worker, not to be displaced to their immediate line management.

    • anonymous November 16, 2016 at 6:35 pm #

      Agreed. Not to mention the fact that we don’t know the circumstances and whether or not the line manager had even been in post for the full period.

    • Yvonne Bonifas November 16, 2016 at 7:09 pm #

      I would have hoped a Safe guarding Manager could at least a) spell and b) recognize the systemic issues here.

      • edna cloud November 16, 2016 at 9:24 pm #

        I am shocked at some of these responses as our systems alert managers and senior managers of any outstanding assessments/visits/reports, so it is the manager’s fault for not ensuring the work was being done, or at least gone through outstanding work in supervision. Then to say because the manager had to finish the risk assessment, the social worker’s other work was not completed and overlooked , is rubbish. Any manager worth their salt, would have asked another team member to finish the risk assessment, so they could go through the remaining work and allocate this out to the team. The manager needs to have had some form of disciplinary hearing from this, due to utter incompetent management skills and they should not have allowed this to go on as long as it did. Thank god no one died

      • Ben Glass November 16, 2016 at 11:30 pm #

        Um the manager above does acknowledge the concerns re management

        Also, it’s *safeguarding*. One word.

        • Stuart November 27, 2016 at 4:27 pm #

          And when did ‘um’ become a word? One or otherwise.

    • Allan Graham November 17, 2016 at 12:25 pm #

      You are right in one sense. Individual responsibility is paramount and pointing fingers at individuals without good evidence is wrong. Both social workers and their managers act on behalf of their local authorities, so responsibility for systemic failures like this one rests with the respective authority.

  7. Sally November 16, 2016 at 5:32 pm #

    Anonymous – Stop passing the proverbial managerial buck back to social worker’s. You get paid to be a manager, and you knew what you were getting yourself into, when you decided to be a safeguarding manager. The manager here should know exactly where things are at if she has been providing regular supervision and support. It’s not about being autonomous and capable, it’s fulfilling your duty and responsibility as a manager.

    I am glad your are not my manager.

  8. Borstal Boy November 16, 2016 at 6:36 pm #

    Ah Anonymous completely and utterly missing the point.no doubt you’ll be seeking a job in the new regulatory body? Sticking it to frontline staff whilst their so called managers wheedle their way out of any responsibility. That’s equally shameful in my opinion and is definitely becoming a “thing” in Social Work. Effective oversight would ensure these kind of failings were dealt with, one way or another. I’m surprised the errant Social Worker wasn’t promoted.

  9. Gugu Thibela November 16, 2016 at 7:08 pm #

    This is shocking! The Social worker works under a manager- how is it that her!his work was only checked after 786 days? Where was the manager and the manager’s manager, the whole line of mgt is dead as is usually the case.

  10. Ian Kemp November 16, 2016 at 7:18 pm #

    Manageralism is not the answer to social work,.. I am afraid it will always be a problem within the context of the present organisation of social work

  11. Yvonne November 16, 2016 at 7:23 pm #

    Clearly processes have not been followed in this case i.e. Regular supervision which would and should have highlighted something as seriously wrong when you still waiting for a 2 yrs old case update.
    What about following through capability to identify how to support the worker who was clearly not coping. It’s not just the SW that should have been struck off. As usual the SW is the scapegoat. Shame on you HCPC!!!!!!

  12. Social Worker November 16, 2016 at 9:13 pm #

    “The HCPC was alerted to the social worker’s poor practice when a manager’s review of her human resources portfolio,supervision and training records identified “concerning trends”

    How long were the “concerning trends” going on ?! If there were concerns who was addressing the concerns? The organisation, the manager no one it seems. All should be reprimanded,supervised and monitored.

  13. StevieW321 November 16, 2016 at 9:17 pm #

    As a manager I would offer myself up for scrutiny by HCPC for ineffective management.

  14. Colin D November 16, 2016 at 10:06 pm #

    The HCPC cannot investigate the line manager unless somebody refers that person to them. They cannot begin their own investigations. Sometimes the HCPC will criticise a lack of supervision, but only if the worker turns up or submits written evidence to make that point.

  15. Neil November 16, 2016 at 10:20 pm #

    social workers who want to spread the blame ? suck it up

  16. Frances Sweeney November 16, 2016 at 11:20 pm #

    I don’t understand why it took so long. Care agencies and assistants require support plans, and risk assessments in safeguarding instances quickly. Without these,the client can be put at risk .

    Direct payments pay for the person’s care, they’re paid to elderly or disabled people to purchase care services they want. For example, visiting a day centre 3 times a week or respite care. If not processed quickly, then such services will stop until payment is received.

  17. Bente November 17, 2016 at 2:50 am #

    Where was the Manager and supervisor? Where was the case plan and review dates? Social worker was in the wrong,but so was everyone else. Shame on you all.

  18. Ian Kemp November 17, 2016 at 10:34 am #

    To all the above The reality is that social work in its present state is bureaucratic. The managerial approach will always result in various failures because that is what the contradictions within a bureaucratic organisation will ultimately cause…. Whatever the supervision or lack of it .There is always pressures that can result in multiple failures of one sort or another within the system .The social worker at the bottom of the hierarchy is always a convenient scapegoat, whatever the pros and cons maybe.
    As I have said before social work needs root and branch reform and maybe the bureaucratic structure of local gov is not the best way to organise social work.

  19. Andrea November 17, 2016 at 12:43 pm #

    Good to see that we’re attacking ourselves – saves the general public bothering to do so!

    1) perhaps there were a succession of managers hence the slippage/delay in spotting the issue??
    2) the SW IS responsible for their practice – so Annonymous has a valid point
    3) StevieW321 – the ‘thing’ that has developed in SW is the automatic blaming of Managers by incompetent social worker, which makes it extremely difficult to effect any improvement from such incompetents. Further, your remarks echo those of the general public who blame social workers for the abuse of children by their parents.

  20. Ian Kemp November 17, 2016 at 1:58 pm #

    That is not the problem I am afraid……….. It is far more complex then that. see above

  21. Ruksana Chowdhory November 17, 2016 at 5:51 pm #

    Social workers get paid to manage the risk – it’s manger a responsibility to hold the risk. Both failed – both should get striken off. The double standard is absurd but not suprising. It’s a dangerous thing to not be able to hold to account the person who makes the final decisions.

  22. Dave James November 18, 2016 at 8:14 pm #

    I sense that people are trying to defend the indefensible here. Everybody involved should accept blame from the front line social worker to the the councillor on the executive who is responsible for the social care portfolio. Phrases like “caseload” may be jargon to you guys but I see it relating to actual human beings lives being neglected.