HCPC investigating whether to take fitness to practice action following Rotherham inquiry

The regulator is examining whether Rotherham social workers past and present should face fitness to practice hearings following child sexual exploitation report


England’s social work regulator is ‘making inquiries’ into whether it needs to take action against social workers following yesterday’s report on child sexual exploitation in Rotherham.

Rotherham Council was heavily criticised in yesterday’s inquiry report, which found at least 1,400 children, some as young as 11, had been raped, threatened and abused between 1997 and 2013. The inquiry found that some social care professionals had suppressed or ignored evidence of child sex abuse for more than a decade.

A Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) spokeswoman told Community Care: “We are aware of the publication of the independent inquiry into child sexual exploitation in Rotherham. We are making inquiries with Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council to determine what action, if any, we need to take.”

Rotherham Council’s chief executive Martin Kimber said yesterday that senior officers responsible for child safeguarding services during the critical periods no longer worked for the authority and the council has improved in recent years.

But the HCPC said: “We are interested in information that concerns the fitness to practice of any social worker, whether they continue to work for Rotherham Council or not. Any action we took would go through our usual fitness to practice process.”

The spokeswoman clarified that they are at the early stages of their inquiries, and any investigations of individual social workers would be dependent on what they found.

Professor Alexis Jay’s report has seen impassioned reaction across the country, with many people calling for investigations, guilty parties to be struck off and even arrests.



More from Community Care

7 Responses to HCPC investigating whether to take fitness to practice action following Rotherham inquiry

  1. Judith Dallimore August 28, 2014 at 12:47 pm #

    During my employment with CAFCASS for 12 years until retirement, I knew of several occasions when very competent CAFCASS officers were “escorted off the premesis” as if they had committed a crime and subsequently lost their jobs following much less serious concerns about their work than the reported lack of intervention and attitudes of senior managers in Rotherham.

    I sincerely hope the HCPC does investigate the ability of those managers implicated in the Rotherham child sexual exploitation inquiry and their competence to continue practising. Otherwise registration as a professional becomes valueless.

    • Milo August 29, 2014 at 7:32 am #

      Yes I have seen the same in local authorities, HCPC need to raise their thresholds on cases that they accept not only are we loosing potentially good workers that maybe over worked but those worse cases may not be reported on the basis that they are compliant with the bad practice within the service they work in. Which happens.

      So maybe this is an eye opener for many, not all cases are reported based on their good relationships with an employer.

  2. Phil Sanderson August 28, 2014 at 7:13 pm #

    Alas I do not think the HCPC will take any action against managers they are untouchable. Managers are happy to take the telephone number salary and perks but are the very last in the queue when it comes to taking responsibility.

  3. Paul Barker August 29, 2014 at 5:32 pm #

    Of course the HCPC will not take any action, there won’t be enough records or evidence to justify such action with most parties in much higher ranking positions than they were in now.

    The social work sector is supposed to be regulated, but it isn’t, the social workers involved here “turned a blind eye” and went on with their lives while they knew children were being abused. They are as bad as the abusers, worst in some regard because they were being paid to protect the children and they didnt, they should hand back every penny they earned when clearly they were not doing their job. But this is the UK and nobody is ever to blame in Social Services, no heads roll, just a wringing of hands and a promise to do better.

    Did we hear any social worker resign because they knew what was going on? No? They all accepted it, probably even thought that some of the kids deserved it, or were from such poor families nobody would care.

    Social Work has lost its way, its forgot its basic reason for existing. To help people. How can somebody claim on £115K a year they are helping people?

  4. Lorraine Dixson September 1, 2014 at 6:03 pm #

    I recently read a damming Ofsted report that highly criticised managers in a certain LA that I shall not name, making reference to management poor practice in many area’s. my question is; why are these managers and those above them not reported to the HCPC by Ofsted ??

  5. Ken September 2, 2014 at 9:01 am #

    I will be amazed if the HCPC take any action at all

  6. Jessica September 8, 2014 at 9:30 pm #

    I have worked for many different Local Authorities, and whilst not saying there are clear failings with what happened at Rotherham, I am really fed up with it just being blamed on social workers, there are a whole team of professionals involved which includes health, police and managers within social care and finally the voluntary sector. Lets hope that any investigation by the HCPC is balanced and fair and that other professionals are held to the same level of account by their governing body.