A social worker who fathered two children with a vulnerable service user has been struck off the social care register.
The social worker, who was referred to as Mr Z during the hearing but has been named by other media, also supplied the woman, Ms X, with drugs and suggested she had an abortion when she became pregnant with her first child.
A GSCC conduct committee heard evidence that the abuse has had a huge impact on Ms X’s life – she has lost custody of her two children and been made bankrupt.
Mr Z became Ms X’s allocated social worker in 2002, when he was employed by Cambridge Council. At the time, Ms X had a personality disorder and was living in supported housing.
Ms X told the GSCC conduct committee she had been blackmailed by Mr Z and felt forced to pay money to someone who had found out about their relationship, to keep it secret. The committee heard that Mr Z gave Ms X money to pay this person in exchange for sex from Ms X.
Cambridge Council gained a court injunction to protect the identity of Ms X’s two children during the case, and the GSCC also chose to conceal the social worker’s details to provide extra protection.
Mental health impact
Ms X told the committee the relationship had “severely impacted upon my mental health”, and had caused her to become “distant and disassociated”.
Ms X eventually disclosed the relationship to Richard Noble, a project worker and mental health outreach worker. He told the committee that Mr Z’s behaviour had destroyed all chances of Ms X being able to deal with social services again.
Mr Z was suspended in December 2006 and dismissed for gross misconduct in July 2007. But police were unable to prosecute him because he had stopped the relationship with Ms X months before the introduction of the Sexual Offences Act 2003, which made it an offence for a social worker to have a sexual relationship with a vulnerable person in their care.
Mr Z did not attend the hearing but admitted he had a sexual relationship with Ms X and fathered her two children. But he denied supplying and taking drugs, sending an explicit text message, and expecting sex from Ms X in return for money.
The GSCC said today that Mr Z had been removed from the social care register with immediate effect but can appeal to the independent Care Standards Tribunal.