Children’s social worker struck off for 25 breaches of code

A social worker who repeatedly ignored instructions from managers and failed to safeguard the children for whom she was responsible has been struck off.

Faatien Le Jardin did not properly implement child protection plans or work in partnership with parents or other professionals, a General Social Care Council conduct committee found.

The failings were among 25 breaches of the code of practice for social care workers committed by the practitioner between 2006 and 2008 while working for Merton Council’s children in need team in south London.

Le Jardin would threaten parents with care proceedings as a form of punishment and made numerous unfounded judgements about some parents, assuming one was a prostitute and another a criminal, the committee found.

At other times she made demeaning and derogatory remarks about black colleagues and service users.

She also failed to work sensitively with children, telling one parent’s child not to touch her with his “sticky hands” and making it clear she did not want the children to go near her.

Le Jardin did not attend the conduct hearing and or submit any mitigating evidence. In October 2009, the GSCC received an anonymous letter from someone claiming to be Le Jardin’s friend, stating Le Jardin had moved from her registered addressed because she had suffered “severe bullying” at her place of employment.

In her absence the committee found all 12 allegations against Le Jardin proved, including that she had repeatedly failed to respond to enquiries and instructions from managers.

It also found she had worked as a social worker via an agency for Croydon Council while taking sick leave from Merton Council.

The committee concluded that removal from the register was “the only appropriate sanction in a case as serious as this”.

Councillor Debbie Shears, cabinet member for children’s services at Merton Council, said Le Jardin worked at the authority for six years until October 2008.

“Merton Council referred her case to the General Social Care Council but, for reasons of confidentiality, we are unable to discuss details of the case.”

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