A newly qualified social worker (NQSW) has had her suspension increased for a further nine months for failing to manage her workload.
The NQSW was dismissed from her post at the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (Cafcass) on grounds of lack of capability in December 2012.
The inexperienced social worker was not closing cases or filing court reports on time. Her paperwork was below the standards required of her , a Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) panel was told.
She began a three year NQSW programme with Cafcass in June 2011 for which she had to submit a portfolio of evidence at the end of the first year. She failed to submit the portfolio for the deadline.
There was no mention in the panel’s finding of the level of support made available to her by Cafcass.
‘Dealing with stress’
At a further hearing this month, nine months on from the original suspension in May 2014, the social worker told the panel that her health had had a negative impact on her work at the time and she recognised she needed to adopt better strategies for dealing with stress.
However, due to a bereavement, she had not undertaken any employment, care-related voluntary work or specific training since her original suspension.
Because of this, the panel found she had not done enough to remedy her practice.
The panel Chair Nicola Bastin said: “The appropriate and proportionate sanction is to renew the suspension order for a period of nine months.
“This will give [her] further opportunity to demonstrate that she has taken steps to acquire the competencies in which she was previously found to be deficient.”