Social worker suspended for failing to maintain accurate records and manage her caseload

The experienced practitioner received extra training and supervision, but was still unable to complete a backlog of safeguarding cases

Health and Care Professions Council

A senior social worker who left vulnerable children at risk by failing to maintain clear and up-to-date records and carry out safeguarding tasks in a timely manner has been suspended from the register.

Julie Mirvis had been employed as a social worker at Kent council since 2003. In November 2010, following a child protection conference for one particular family, concerns were raised about her record keeping.

Her caseload was audited and it emerged that her case records “generally contained serious omissions”, a panel of the Health and Care Professions Council’s (HCPC) conduct and competence committee heard.

There was also evidence that Mirvis had not completed tasks in a timely manner, including carrying out statutory visits to vulnerable service users.

This was despite the fact that Kent council provided staff with extra training to improve their record keeping after Ofsted rated its children’s services inadequate in 2010.

Mirvis’ caseload was frozen by Kent following the discovery, because she had a backlog of work to be completed before she could be allocated new cases.

However, she was unable to complete the backlog and was eventually dismissed for gross incompetence in June 2012.

Finding the majority of allegations against Mirvis proved, the HCPC concluded that children had not been adequately safeguarded as a result of her failings.

“The panel is in no doubt that the lack of competence exhibited by the registrant over several cases, notwithstanding training and extra supervision, amounted to a serious lack of competence,” said panel chair Gordon Sutehall.

There was no evidence that Mirvis had taken any steps to improve her practice, Sutehall added, so the risk of recurrence remained high.

The panel decided to suspend her from the register for 12 months.

Read the full notice of decision

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One Response to Social worker suspended for failing to maintain accurate records and manage her caseload

  1. Phillip Briggs October 30, 2013 at 9:19 pm #

    Social work practice occurs within the particular context created by the employing organisation who have a responsibility to ensure that it is reasonably possible to meet the demands made upon their employees. Clearly it is not simply about providing extra training or even freezing a caseload if that caseload is already to heavy to cope with. Many social workers find themselves struggling to maintain good ethical and professional person-centred practice in organisations heavily dominated by bureaucracy and managerialism and I can’t help but wonder if the HCPC took this into account in reviewing this and similar cases?