Social worker struck off for inappropriate relationship with teenager

Health and Care Professions Council finds 'reckless disregard of risk' by social worker.

A married social worker has been struck off for conducting an inappropriate relationship with a 17-year old boy while working as a youth justice worker.
The Health and Care Professions Council was told Joanne Marie McGovern gave the boy gifts, visited him up to four times a week at his home and allowed him to visit her own home while working for Luton Borough Council.
She also took out a mobile phone contract on his behalf and rented him a car, despite knowing he did not hold a full driving license or insurance.
The teenager was subsequently arrested in the hire car and, on another occasion, involved in an accident. Police reported McGovern for aiding and abetting the boy’s offences.
Panel chair Alexander Yule said they did not consider McGovern’s conduct easily remediable, nor that it was an isolated error.
“Her actions had the potential to cause harm to Service User A. She recklessly disregarded the risk of harm to Service User A, who was a vulnerable young person,” he added.
The panel found she had harmed the boy’s family, the council’s reputation and that of the social work profession. She was struck off, with an interim suspension order in place to cover the appeal period.

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