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Social worker who deleted emails to cover up failings struck off

Posted on 10/08/2016 by


The social worker tried to cover up the fact she failed to begin breach proceedings in relation to a young man who went on to be arrested for murder

A social worker has been struck off after deleting emails and backdating records to hide failings in work with a “vulnerable and violent” young man who was later arrested for murder.

The social worker, who worked at a youth offending service, failed to instigate court proceedings in relation to the man breaching a detention order that he was serving following an assault conviction.

She had been told to initiate the proceedings at a risk management panel meeting convened in June 2014 due to concerns over the man’s lack of engagement with services.

Arrested for murder

On 12 August the service was told the man had been arrested for murder and a full management review of the team’s handling of his case was launched.

Two days later the social worker made backdated reports which said she had started proceedings but the court had not returned documentation to the council.

In an attempt to cover up the fact she had not started proceedings, the social worker also deleted the emails she sent for the month of July.

The panel concluded “there would have been no point in deleting them other than to disguise what had or had not been done in that month”.

It said she acted dishonestly, and it was not due to a lack of competence.

“The vulnerable and violent nature of the [service user] and the fact the registrant’s actions exposed him and the public to risk of harm,” the panel added.

The panel took into account how “problems arose from a heavy caseload”, and that the social worker had previously received an accolade in connection with her work.

However, it decided that the social worker should be struck off because her actions created a risk to the service user, she had used dishonesty to conceal her failure and there was a “significant risk” she may repeat the conduct in future.

Source: Community Care