Social worker struck off over supervision failings

The practitioner was sanctioned by the HCPC for failing to undertake or record supervision in a series of cases

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Photo: Monkey Business Images/REX/Shutterstock

A social worker has been struck off after failing to undertake or record supervision in the case of a child at high risk of sexual exploitation.

This was one of a series of failings made by the social worker between June and September 2015, the Health and Care Professions (HCPC) panel found.

In another case, the social worker failed to ensure a risk assessment was carried out for an unborn child, whose father was a registered sex offender.

Panel chair Ian Spafford said the social worker’s shortcomings were “numerous, repeated and occurred over a significant period of time”, adding that they were “also serious and exposed vulnerable children to unnecessary harm”.

‘Supervision failings’

The social worker was largely criticised by the regulator for failing to undertake supervision meetings or record notes from meetings that had taken place.

In the case of child B, the social worker did not maintain accurate records and failed to input supervision records onto the system “in a timely manner”, the panel found.

They also did not undertake or record any care planning meetings for the child, or maintain up-to-date case management records.

In another case, listed as child A, the panel found the practitioner had falsely recorded that a supervision meeting with the allocated social worker took place.

‘Dishonest actions’

In the case of child F, the social worker failed to action concerns that the child had been engaged in sexual activity with two 15-year-old girls, or initiate a section 47 investigation in relation to the concerns. They also did not undertake or record supervision with the social worker allocated to the case, the panel heard.

The panel concluded that the social worker’s actions were dishonest and amounted to misconduct, and ordered that they be struck off the HCPC register.

The social worker was not present or represented at the hearing.

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7 Responses to Social worker struck off over supervision failings

  1. Pascale Dutton June 24, 2018 at 12:34 am #

    Where was his or her manager for the past year ? After the 1st incident if it should have been addressed provided support and monitoring measures were in place. If these were in place and the SW has not improve then displinary action should have been taken soon after the second incident. Employer is the ultimately responsible for putting children’s welfare at risk. Any service users coming into with social services their contract is with the employer not the SW.

    • John June 26, 2018 at 4:19 pm #

      That thinking is to rationale I am afraid and doesn’t fit in with the scapegoating of individuals which politically is much easier.

    • EJ June 27, 2018 at 9:21 pm #

      So you think SWs are not responsible for their own failings?! They have Code of Conduct and Code of Ethics to comply with – not to mention the law of course!

  2. Joe Bloggs June 25, 2018 at 9:17 pm #

    That’s all I read social worker suspended or struck off the register. Still intrigued as to what actual support or advice HCPC actually provide to social workers and what we actually get for the quarterly subscriptions. Contacted HCPC quite recently (2 weeks)was told by fitness to practice advisor who was not a qualified social worker that someone would return my call who would be able to inform me of what support was available. Still waiting will not hold my breadth.

  3. Bernice Seworde June 26, 2018 at 8:44 am #

    This kind of action should can also be observed from an organizational point of view .
    It is therefore not the failing of this individual social worker alone that should warrant scrutiny but the culture of accountability within the organization as well.
    Until the organizational culture is looked at, there remains the risk that kind of misconduct could recur .

  4. The usually stressed social worker June 26, 2018 at 10:06 am #

    O.K so when are we actually going to get time to do social work with our clients? When we also now required to record supervision. Are we not already overwhelmed with bureaucracy. We required to do multiple assessments and reports at any given time. Then when we complain or late due to work pressure we merely told that timescales need to be followed. I’m sorry but this level of performance is not realistic and causes significant stress among practitioners.
    By the way … when are managers responsible for recording supervision… they facilitate it and should not expect social workers to also record it.

  5. Dotty Isaac June 26, 2018 at 7:13 pm #

    First, I’m not in favour of destroying a SW’s career over failings or misconduct because people spend time and money to pursue a career they love. I would prefer a suspension without pay, at worst while the worker retrains.

    About the SW in question, they work in a team and under a line manager so any failing or misconduct is that of their team. I agree with Pascale, when a SW goes out to work they give a feedback or handover, make notes which their line manager must view at some point, this seem to have been missed.

    I refuse to accept the allegation of deception but failings, misconduct and shortcomings in which SWs should be supported and not destroyed.

    There is always shortage of SW, unbearable and constantly changing regulations, quick exiting from the job within Social work so I would say HCPC should look again at the way it is handling matters and not pick on a SW to scapegoat them when there are more senior people to take the wrap.