By Davinia Overton
A former child safeguarding team leader retrospectively recorded a false supervision record and forged her supervisee’s signature after concerns were raised about decision-making on the case, the HCPC heard.
While appointed acting team leader, the social worker recorded a decision in a supervision session to close a case. The following month it was discovered that one of the children in the family in question had allegedly been assaulted, and the mother arrested.
Questions were asked about how the case had been handled during a child protection conference (CPC), after which a supervision record was found that advised the case should remain open.
The HCPC made a finding of fact that the second supervision record was prepared by the acting team leader after learning of the incident, and uploaded to the electronic system the day after the CPC.
In evidence, the social worker explained that she had assumed there would be criticism of the decision made to close the case and said she uploaded the false record “in panic”.
The HCPC panel heard that the social worker had found the move from deputy team leader to acting team leader very stressful, and that she felt the team had too many cases and too few social workers available to deal with the volume of work.
‘Remorse, regret and apology’
Consideration was given to the fact that her career had been unblemished, and she had demonstrated remorse, regret and apology.
Despite this, the panel said: “Her actions in forging her colleague’s signature and uploading a false account of the supervision record were serious dishonest acts. She has not yet developed sufficient insight to mitigate the risk of repetition, which has been identified.”
The panel ruled she may only work at the level of a senior practitioner or equivalent and must comply with strict HCPC conditions of practice for 12 months on the grounds of misconduct.