Social worker seeks removal from register after saying job had ‘negative’ impact on him

The social worker had been sanctioned for failing to meet timescales before deciding not to return to the profession

past future
Photo: MichaelJBerlin/Fotolia

A social worker with 32 years of experience will seek voluntary removal from the register after saying his career had a “negative” impact on him.

The social worker was suspended in 2015 after failing to carry out visits, reports and maintain care plans in statutory timescales.

He originally intended to return to practice, but he acknowledged it would not be easy for him to find employment after a period away from the profession. In the hearing for the original sanction, he admitted he had not been at the “top of his game” and wasn’t “giving his work the attention it deserved” and that he may suit a less pressurised environment.

“He said also that it is his wish to return to practice and to resume his career where he has always wished to help others,” the initial panel found.

At a review hearing last month, however, a panel heard how he was working as a warehouse assistant and was “content with his current circumstances”.


He told the panel: “On reflection my social work career of 32 years has had a negative…impact on me. There were three periods of sickness absence…which were primarily work related.

“I would not want to return to any activities that might have a detrimental effect on my health,” he said.

Given the social worker’s admissions, the panel decided a further suspension was necessary while he discussed with the regular options for voluntary removal.

He told the panel: “Given that at this moment in time I have no intention of returning to social work this might be an appropriate way forward.”

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23 Responses to Social worker seeks removal from register after saying job had ‘negative’ impact on him

  1. Mad Millie June 12, 2018 at 12:07 pm #

    How very sad.

    The lack of support for social workers needs to be addressed.

    HCPC I believe is putting additional pressure on social workers. I bet he has needed to wait two years just to get to this stage.

  2. Geraldine Ellis June 12, 2018 at 12:58 pm #

    Social Work is the most thankless of professions!

    It takes in people full of energy and ideals and then spits them out years later a shell of what they once were.

    Politics and bureaucracy have got in the way and the job and even the most resilient of workers will lose the battle in the end.

    • Ellie Cubbage June 13, 2018 at 8:50 am #

      Geraldine Ellis couldn’t have said it any better.

    • John Pilcher June 13, 2018 at 12:02 pm #

      Yes, your so right.

    • Anonymous June 21, 2018 at 5:11 pm #

      Well said Geraldine Phiilps. A great SW who gave 32 years of his for a thankless job got nothing to show for it. His passion for what once he fought for, justice for others, completely undermined. Do sad!

  3. Geoff Wright June 12, 2018 at 2:20 pm #

    I requested to come off the register although I did not state health reasons it was because of a rapid decline of my physical health as a direct result of long hours inputting to a computer. I am still experiencing difficulties 5 years on.

    • Willma June 12, 2018 at 6:31 pm #

      Really don’t think you know what you are talking about

    • Mary Jeffries June 13, 2018 at 2:53 am #

      Me too. Would have lost my home had a friend not been able to lend me some money for a couple of years till my employment pension was payable. Now supplement that with some care work.

  4. Denice Blakebrough June 12, 2018 at 4:28 pm #

    It makes me wonder if I should return. I we as social worker a give everything up for the profession, our employers are don’t show they care. Sorry that this has made you unwell.

  5. Katie Politico June 12, 2018 at 5:41 pm #

    Luckily I have been able to take early retirement following twenty years of practice. Social work has become unrecognisable in that time and is no longer about meeting the needs of families but meeting the ever-expanding needs of the organisations, including sociopathic service managers, which employ us. In my experience I have never been valued at a service management level and I wouldn’t wish a social work career on anyone contemplating it. Even the most organised of social workers cannot manage their caseloads and most practitioners work well over their contracted hours.

    It’s a terrible shame that the practitioner in question has been made to feel he is lacking rather than the profession itself.

    Like all public sector services social work is being squeezed financially so that it is attractive to private contractors who will have to make no investment and will simply cream off the profits.

    • Jeanne Schofield June 16, 2018 at 11:47 am #

      Very well put, I have worked in the public sector for 13 years and I love my work but am disillusioned with the amount of recording and how little time I spend with families. Over managed and undervalued so am moving on to a different sector, for new challenges.

    • jim June 18, 2018 at 11:18 am #

      You will get a poor pension for just 20 years of service especailly as you would also be penalised with a cost neutral reduction for retiring before your optional retirement. Even though I am close to 25 years service anything less than 30 years is not good. You would get a bigger pension by doing 8 years as an MP! That shows us how social workers are so poorly valued in this society. But you are right to get out as its your health that is more important.

  6. Fed up too June 12, 2018 at 7:09 pm #

    I think most of us feel the same as him. Tories must be happy with themselves. Instead of going after those that steal from the public they hound, pressurise and prosecute those that help the public.

    I wish him the best.

  7. J June 12, 2018 at 8:46 pm #

    A kind and caring person and a sad loss to the profession.

  8. Yvonne Frankum June 13, 2018 at 8:26 am #

    I am in the process of doing exactly the same thing. It’s has been I very turbulent 4 years I too was suspended in 2015.

    The harrowing journey impacted upon my whole being. There are not enough appropriately trained managers. Those that are able to think about the welfare of staff and are realistic with what is achievable.

  9. Former frontliner June 13, 2018 at 9:13 am #

    If you experience difficulty in removing yourself from the register without divulging extremely personal health information then just dont pay the renewal fee- you will be set free within months and be £45 in pocket too!

  10. Chris June 13, 2018 at 11:04 am #

    Yet another hcpc case involving a registrant generally struggling with workload. This is a sad case, but the broader theme is that employers seem to be abusing the misconduct process to fire workers who are struggling (or, in some cases, just not great at their jobs).
    As a trade union officer I used to fight cases like this regularly: the performance process is much longer and looks at working environment as well. Misconduct is supposed to be the avenue for people who commit crimes or otherwise dangerous acts in their professional life and who are a risk to the public they serve.

  11. John Pilcher June 13, 2018 at 12:11 pm #

    If it were not for IFA’s I would have left the profession years ago. The pressures on recoding every little thing from phone calls through to visiting children, seeing their bedroom, checking this checking that etc. The vast amount of time spent recording rather than doing direct work has become worrying! I did return briefly to LA employment but yh5focus was on keeping OFSTED happy and meeting targets. I’ve been a social worker for 40 years & the pressures are beyond ridiculous. No wounder people burning out, break down or eventually feel unable to manage the load and self blame. In this specific case it’s hard to evaluate but I know many have gone agency and move every 12 months to avoid the building pressures. A new start some ware else appears a way of coping & getting a decent salary. Lucky me I’m semi retired. Thoughts are with all my colleagues.

  12. Maria June 13, 2018 at 5:55 pm #

    I have been in the profession for 12 yrs & I was recently on the sick due to a sociopathic narcissist service manager who was constantly trying to bully, Intimidate & harass me! I have now returned to work to be told I will be getting a formal warning for being off sick due to work related stess which I am now appealing with the support of my union rep! I have now decided to leave the social work profession to set up my own business as i feel demoralised & disillusioned by the whole social care system!

  13. Lucy June 13, 2018 at 7:51 pm #

    The Social Worker in the article has more than proved himself by his 32 years in the world’s toughest and thankless professional. Not many other’s last that long in what has become an unmanageable, stressful, unsupportive, and chaotic environment. I am not surprised it has started to affect his health, as you would have to be a robot for it not too.

    I have been a frontline CP SW for the past 20 years; and I am also tired and dissatisfied, and am looking at NGO options, otherwise I will quit the profession. It has become about meeting targets, managing unreasonable caseloads, and spending hours in front of a computer writing reports that people read once and discard. I am doing a job I did not sign up for, which was to perform direct work and to help people, and I’m not doing that, I feel I’m apart of the problem.

    I have only managed to survive this long as I virtually kissed my social life goodbye, and spend my entire life almost on my computer in my own time, working evenings and weekends. I have become quite lonely and isolated, and I have now realised it’s not worth it, and life is too short to spend it at work and in this miserable field.

    The good thing about this story was the Social Worker is now out of this thankless field, and is now working in a field which is less demanding and taxing, and he probably now has his life back, and is getting paid for the hours he works, as opposed to working all these unpaid hours to prop up a system that is not fit for purpose.

  14. Swjb June 13, 2018 at 11:38 pm #

    One poor, non reflective manager for a short period can make you reconsider the decision and commitment to social work altogether. Which is such a shame! Being expected to pick up tons of cases after time off with stress related illness, with no time to complain, no energy to argue and little trust in your manager is sure to push you over the edge.
    Doesnt matter if you are or were a good sw or not. If youre unlucky enough to work somewhere with no value for their staff, unfortunately you will encounter some form of burnout. Cos we need looking after and valuing too. The irony!

  15. jim June 18, 2018 at 11:23 am #

    Almost at the end of my social work career I would not go into the profession now if I knew what lay ahead..this is sad considering that so many adults and children who are frail, disabled, ill, abused etc etc will only lose out if good caring social workers are poorly paid,overworked, and stressed out!