Social worker struck off after obtaining details on future step-children

Fitness to practise hearing

A social worker has been struck off for using her position to obtain information about her fiancé’s children.

The experienced social worker, employed by the London Borough of Southwark since 2008, sent an email from her work address to the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham asking if a mother and her three children were known to the authority.

In the email she provided the address and the dates of birth for all four individuals.

The records officer at Hammersmith and Fulham provided her with the information requested, including a chronology of contact the local authority had had with the family.

However, a month later the child protection chair for Hammersmith and Fulham raised concerns the request had not followed correct procedure.

The safeguarding review and quality assurance manager for Hammersmith and Fulham also raised concerns because the family was known to the social worker personally.

Southwark conducted an internal investigation during which the social worker admitted sending the email and that the father of the children concerned was her fiancé. However, she said she had done it because she wanted to ensure the children were safe, denied she had shared the information with anyone else and said she disposed of the information as confidential waste.

She said she had acted in good faith and did not see her actions as a misuse of her position as a social worker. She said she would not do it again.

However, the Health and Care Professions Council said if the social worker had had genuine fears about the children’s safety there were correct procedures to follow which she was aware of.

In addition the panel deemed that she had not shown any insight or remorse about her actions and as a result there was no guarantee it would not happen again.



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4 Responses to Social worker struck off after obtaining details on future step-children

  1. Jessica November 5, 2013 at 2:12 pm #

    I really feel sorry for this practitioner. I think this could happen to anyone. All the best for your future.

    • Jon November 7, 2013 at 2:02 pm #


      It could only happen to a professional who abused a position of trust and responsibility by acting against their own employers policies and procedures and their own professions guidlines to access confidential infomation they knew they were not entitled to view.

  2. Esmeralda November 5, 2013 at 4:22 pm #

    I hope everything works out for the best, both for the social worker and the children.

  3. Laura November 7, 2013 at 3:07 pm #

    I’m surprised at the comment who says “this could happen to anyone”. As a social work student, my training would tell me this is a complete abuse of power. It may be that she did not act maliciously, but even if it was though curiosity or vague concern (she didn’t have enough concern to report it to the borough) it is not appropriate to ask for information on anyone you feel like, just because you can. I wouldn’t want to think any social worker/police officer/doctor/health worker were checking mine and my families records because they want to know personal details of my life, without following a procedure. I don’t think it necessarily makers her a bad worker but it’s interesting that not showing insight or remorse was mentioned, perhaps if she acknowledged the gravity of the action the decision to strike her off would have been different.