Safeguarding director suspended after authorising payment to ex-partner

The HCPC panel found the senior social worker authorised payments to help renovate a foster carer’s home without disclosing his financial interest in the house

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An executive director of safeguarding has been suspended by the HCPC after it was revealed he authorised payments to help renovate a foster carer’s home that he had a financial stake in.

A conduct and competence committee heard the senior social worker told a colleague to approve the payment to the foster carer but did not inform them that the carer was his ex-partner, he paid £4,000 a month towards the property’s mortgage and he was planning to sell the home.

The panel found the social worker showed no insight into his misconduct, and instead he made repeated references to “systemic” failings at the council and other individuals’ failings.


His ex-partner was approved as a foster carer for three children. After assessors found her house was suitable to accommodate four children, she sent a letter to the social worker detailing changes that should be made to the property to help accommodate the children.

The social worker, who could authorise the payments as executive director, passed on the request to the practice manager overseeing the case. He said that the foster carer was a friend of his but did not disclose their past relationship, or his financial interest in the house, which the panel concluded was dishonest.

Following this, his ex-partner twice received funding for changes to her house, with the second payment directly authorised by the director, the panel found.

In his defence, the social worker told the panel he assumed the practice manager would have read his ex-partners ‘Form F’, which showed his interest in the house. But the panel dismissed this, and said there was no expectation for the colleague to have done so.

“The registrant had no reason to assume that [the practice manager] was aware of his interest in the property. In any event such assumption did not displace the obligation upon the registrant to directly disclose his interest at the time of his discussion with [the practice manager],” the panel said.


It added that he was not motivated by personal gain but by his desire to do the right thing for the children in care.

“However, his conduct is serious enough to amount to misconduct due to the breach of professional boundaries and the fact his behaviour has the potential to bring the profession into disrepute.”

The panel said that, as a senior professional within the council, he should have been aware of the proper processes to follow, and have regard to the public perception of his behaviour.

The discussions over funding changes to the home “spanned several weeks with several opportunities to recognise and address the issue”.

“The registrant stated in his evidence that: ‘…most of it I would not do differently, I would remind people more directly of their roles and responsibilities’. He thereby focussed on the roles of other people and did not acknowledge any fault on his part.”

The panel decided a six-month suspension was necessary as the social worker had not properly recognised or remedied his failings.

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5 Responses to Safeguarding director suspended after authorising payment to ex-partner

  1. mature practitioner June 12, 2017 at 11:30 am #

    6 month suspension?……what a joke!

    There is absolutely no excuse for any level of social worker to fail to disclose a personal interest of this nature, never mind a very experienced senior social worker.

    …..and then when found out fail to recognise and acknowledge his failings, take responsibility and try to blame others is a very serious conduct issue in my opinion.

    I wonder if a lesser experienced social worker would have been given the same leniency?

    …..I guess not

    • mature practitioner June 12, 2017 at 11:46 am #

      PS – and I’m sure he will be suspended on full pay

      so how the taxpaying public are supposed to have total confidence in the profession I don’t know, this is the very reason why we are failing in our efforts.

      …I rest my case.

  2. Lisa June 12, 2017 at 5:51 pm #

    I think its disgraceful a senior officier who should be role modelling good ethical practice should get off with 6 months its not like they directly practice. I note no payment was askedfor given its public monies

  3. Margaret June 13, 2017 at 8:35 pm #

    He had not failed to disclose! He had made it clear that he had a relationship and that he had an interest. The paperwork is available to all. He had been very clear to all managers off his interest. The proof is available
    He pissed off a manager who decided he needed taking down a peg or two. And yes thus particular manager he did not have a discussion with.
    I am so tired off nasty weasel managers lying and attempting to duscredit decent folk because it sticks intheir butt.
    The report states
    “It was agreed he was not motivated by personal gain, but by his desire to do the right thing for children in care”

    Do not be fooled this is not one of your creepy managers, this is a god man that got stuffed!!

    Do not think that all managers are against social Workers, most are I grant you , they are lazy, gutless, hopeless and a true risk to some of our most vulnerable. They will stuff your head in a grinder while holding a spliff and a drink but not thIs guy

  4. Velma June 14, 2017 at 1:16 pm #

    This is an absolute disgrace when you think of ordinary social workers that have been struck off off for less. It’s the same old story of double standards. This should have been viewed as a a gross misconduct issue, apart from the lying by omission, this is misuse of tax payers money to line his or hers own pockets . Yet we are given very clear information n the HCPC standards book re financial limits on accepting gifts,
    however this would indicate that there is no limits on gifting yourself. Come on HCPC this makes a farce Our of your standards.