A 'dishonest' social worker has been struck off her professional register after failing to speak to a vulnerable young boy and later fabricated paperwork to suggest she had in order to cover her back.
Caroline Rodgers, who qualified as a social worker in 1995, was removed the register by the conduct and competence committee of the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) register on December 18.
Her actions were, the committee’s findings said, “deliberate, reckless and dishonest” and she had shown neither insight nor remorse.
The committee was told Ms Rodgers was working at the time for a referral and assessment team in the children’s services department at Harrow Council in February 2012 when she was directed to contact the youngster after he had experienced a number of difficulties at home and at school.
His family were known to the council’s children’s services team as having a history of domestic violence and substance abuse.
However, when Rodgers visited the child’s home with a colleague, he was at school.
The committee’s findings said: “On March 2, Ms Rodgers completed an initial assessment report.
“Ms Rodgers ticked the box which stated that she had seen Child A and made entries which suggested that she had spoken to him and observed him and his interactions with his parents.”
The case was closed on the basis of her assessment but later a concerned co-worker spoke to managers and Ms Rodgers was investigated.
The committee’s findings said: “Ms Rodgers did not simply tick a box in error.
“She invented conversations with Child A that simply did not take place and added information about Child A’s family that was utterly false.
“The panel is of the view that Ms Rodgers must have recognised that her conduct was dishonest and that others would reasonably regard it as dishonest.
“Ms Rodgers has asserted that she was unwell at the time of the incident and that she was overworked and under significant stress. “Ms Rodgers has not provided any medical evidence to support her claims. Nonetheless, even if the panel accept what Ms Rodgers says at face value, the circumstances she describes do not provide any justification for her conduct.”
The committee said “a vulnerable service user was placed at serious risk of significant harm as a result of Ms Rodgers’ dishonest conduct” and struck the social worker off the register and made an interim suspension order to cover the 18-month appeal period.
A spokeswoman for Harrow Council said: “This social worker was recruited on an interim basis through an agency and when this incident was discovered her contract was terminated immediately. The council reported her to the Health and Care Professions Council and gave evidence at the recent hearing.
"We have rigorous procedures in place when it comes to recruiting, monitoring and training staff and the safety and wellbeing of children is always of the upmost priority.”