Mr Krastin Emanuilov Yaramboykov

Profession: Social worker

Registration Number: SW38191

Interim Order: Imposed on 09 Dec 2016

Hearing Type: Final Hearing

Date and Time of hearing: 09:00 25/06/2018 End: 16:00 02/07/2018

Location: Health and Care Professions Tribunal Service (HCPTS), 405 Kennington Road, London, SE11 4PT

Panel: Conduct and Competence Committee
Outcome: Struck off

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Allegation

 


Whilst working as a Social Worker at Oxfordshire County Council you:


 


1. In regards to Service User A:


 


a) On or around 30 September 2013 Service User A made a disclosure of alleged verbal abuse and you did not:


 


i. Record the disclosure in the Looked After Children (LAC) Review Report dated 9 December 2013;


 


ii. Discuss the disclosure in the LAC review and/or record that you had discussed the disclosure in the LAC review dated 10 December 2013;


 


iii. Inform and/or record that you had informed the Local Area Designated Officer (LADO) of the disclosure.


 


b) On 19 December 2013 Service User A made a disclosure of alleged sexual abuse by Person A and you did not:


 


i. Ask Service User A and/or record that you had asked Service User A whether they wanted to notify the police;


 


ii. Notify the Child and Family Assessment Team (CAFAT) of the disclosure in a timely manner or at all;


 


iii. Complete the tasks assigned to you in a section 47 enquiry arising out of the Strategy Meeting on 23 January 2014;


 


iv. Discuss the disclosure in the LAC review and/or record that you had discussed the disclosure in the LAC review dated 3 June 2014;


 


v. Record the disclosure in the LAC Report dated 28 July 2014;


 


vi. Inform and/or record that you had informed your Manager of the disclosure until approximately one month after it was made by Service User A.


 


c) On or around 31 January 2014 Service User A made a disclosure in relation to alleged physical abuse by Child A and you did not:


 


i. Update and/or record that you had updated CAFAT that Service User A upheld the disclosure;


 


ii. Save the original disclosure in the case notes until 14 October 2015;


 


iii. Inform and/or record that you had informed the LADO;


 


iv. Sufficiently discuss and or record that you had sufficiently discussed the disclosures with Service User A;


 


v. Accurately record two separate disclosures by Service User A.


 


d) Informed your manager that Service User A had retracted a disclosure when he had not.


 


e) On 18 February 2014 Service User A made a disclosure of alleged historical sexual abuse by Person B and physical abuse by Person B and/or Person C and you did not:


 


i. Advise and/or record that you had advised CAFAT of the disclosure;


 


ii. Report this disclosure to the police;


 


iii. Inform you manager of the disclosure;


 


iv. Initiate a strategy discussion or meeting;


 


v. Discuss the disclosure in the LAC review and/or record that you had discussed the disclosure in the LAC review dated 3 June 2014;


 


vi. Record the disclosure in the LAC Report dated July 2014.


 


f) On 03 March 2014 Service User A made a disclosure of alleged physical abuse by Person D and Child A and you did not:


 


i. Advise and/or record that you had advised CAFAT of the disclosure;


 


ii. Advise and/or record that you had advised the LADO of the disclosure;


 


iii. Discuss and/or record that you had discussed the disclosure with your manager until approximately 23 days after the disclosure was made;


 


iv. Discuss and/or record that you had discussed the disclosure with Persons D and/or E;


 


v. Record this in the LAC review minutes dated 3 June 2014.


 


g) On 04 June 2014 Service User A made a disclosure of alleged physical and verbal abuse by Person E and you did not:


 


i. Record this disclosure on Service User A’s case file;


 


ii. Advise and/or record that you had advised CAFAT of the disclosure;


 


iii. Advise and/or record that you had advised the LADO of the disclosure;


 


iv. Discuss and/or record that you had discussed the disclosure with Service User A;


 


v. Record the disclosure in the LAC report dated 24 November 2014;


 


vi. Inform and/or record that you had informed your Manager of the disclosure.


 


h) On 04 December 2014 Service User A made a disclosure in relation to alleged physical abuse and emotional abuse by Person E and you did not:


 


i. Discuss and/or record that you had discussed the disclosure with Service User A in sufficient detail;


 


ii. Discuss and/or record that you had discussed the disclosure with Person E in sufficient detail;


 


iii. Advise and/or record that you had advised CAFAT of the disclosure;


 


iv. Discuss the disclosure in the LAC review and/or record that you had discussed the disclosure in the LAC review dated 13 May 2015.


 


j) On 11 September 2015 Service User A and Person D made disclosures in relation to potential physical abuse by person E of Service User A and you did not:


 


i. Advise and/or record that you had advised CAFAT of the disclosure.


 


k) On 11 September 2015 Service User A went missing and you did not conduct a Return Interview within 72 Hours of Service User A being found.


 


l) Between September 2013 and October 2015, you did not regularly check and/or did not record on his file that you had checked Service user A’s bedroom in respect of living conditions.


 


2. In regards to Service User B, you:


 


a) Did not share relevant information regarding Service User B with Service User C’s mother including:


 


i. Information about previous sexual allegations made against Service User B;


 


ii. A risk assessment.


 


b) Did not notify and/or did not record that you had notified the Kingfisher team of the potential risks of Service User B staying at the home of Service User C.


 


3. You did not ensure that Service User D was appropriately safeguarded during summer holiday sessions with a teaching assistant in that you:


 


a) Did not ensure that information relating to the arrangement was sufficiently recorded on Service User D’s file;


 


b) Did not inform and/or record that you had informed the Independent Reviewing Officer (IRO) of the arrangement;


 


c) Did not inform your manager of the arrangement in a timely manner;


 


d) Did not complete and/or record that you had completed a risk assessment of the arrangement;


 


e) Did not discuss and/or record that you had discussed the arrangement with Service User D.


 


4. Between approximately 15 August 2016 and 15 September 2016, you did not ensure that appropriate plans were in place to support Service User D while her supportive lodgings host was on holiday in that you:


 


a) Did not make sufficient enquiries about the details of the holiday;


 


b) Did not make sufficient enquiries with the supportive lodgings host about the support to be offered to Service User D;


 


c) On or around 26 August 2016, at a LAC visit with Service User D and her supportive lodgings host, did not discuss and/or record that you had discussed the plans for support during the holiday;


 


d) Did not visit and/or arrange to visit Service User D as directed during a supervision meeting on 7 September 2016;


 


e) Did not inform the IRO that Service User D was not going on the holiday.


 


5. The matters described in paragraphs 1 - 4 amount to misconduct and / or lack of competence.


 


6. By reason of that misconduct and / or lack of competence, your fitness to practise is impaired.


 

Finding

Preliminary Matters

Proof of service

1. The HCPC sent a Notice of Hearing to the Registrant’s registered address on 19 March 2017. The Notice set out all the relevant information about today’s proceedings. The Panel was therefore satisfied that service had been effected in accordance with the Rules.

Proceeding in the absence of the Registrant

2. Mr Dite applied for the hearing to proceed in the Registrant’s absence. He submitted that the Registrant is aware of these proceedings as evidenced in the letter from Thompsons solicitors dated 22 June 2018, who act on behalf of the Registrant. Mr Dite submitted that the Registrant has therefore waived his right to be present. Mr Dite submitted that the Registrant, had not applied for an adjournment and it was therefore appropriate to proceed in his absence.
 
3. This Panel had regard to the most recent HCPTS Practice Note on proceeding in absence (dated September 2016) and it had also took account of the advice of the Legal Assessor who referred the Panel to the factors considered in the case of R v Jones and the case of Adeogba v GMC and in particular the observation of Sir Brian Leveson;

“It would run counter to the protection, promotion and maintenance of the health and safety of the public if a practitioner could effectively frustrate the process and challenge a refusal to adjourn when that practitioner had deliberately failed to engage in the process…Where there is good reason not to proceed, the case should be adjourned; where there is not, however, it is only right that it should proceed.”

4. The Panel considered that it is appropriate to proceed in the absence of the Registrant. In coming to this decision, it had regard to the letter from Thompsons solicitor dated 22 June 2018. This confirms that neither they nor their client would be in attendance. The letter does not request an adjournment of these proceedings. The Panel also had regard to the witness statement from the Registrant in which he refers to the potential adverse effect that this hearing may have on his health. The Panel accepted that hearings such as these are stressful for registrants, but there is no evidence before the Panel for it to infer that the hearing should be adjourned on health grounds. In fairness to the Registrant and his solicitors, they are not making such a request.
 
5. The Panel therefore considered that there is a public interest in proceeding with this case and no useful purpose would be served by this matter not going ahead.

Background

6. The Registrant, Mr Krastin Yaramboykov, qualified as a social worker in Bulgaria in 2001. After taking a further degree in the UK he qualified as a social worker in the UK in 2011 and commenced employment at Oxfordshire County Council (‘OCC’) that year. He was initially part of the Family Support Team (‘FST’), but from 2013 he worked in the Looked After Children and Leaving Care (‘LAC and LC’) North Team. 

7. LG was the Registrant’s line manager from July 2013, but from March 2015 until October 2015 his line manager was JM who was covering the maternity leave of LG.

8. On 28 September 2015 an incident involving Service User A was brought to the attention of JM and then, in October 2015, she also became aware of an issue relating to Service User B dating back to the previous year. On 22 October 2015 JM was tasked with completing an investigation into the Registrant in relation to these service users for which he was the allocated social worker.

9. Service User A had been placed in foster care due to issues surrounding neglect and concerns in relation to sexual abuse by his parents and another. After reviewing the case files, JM noted various disclosures that had been made by the service user between 2013 and 2015, relating to physical abuse by his foster carers and historic sexual abuse by his birth family, that had not been appropriately dealt with by the Registrant.

10. The concern in relation to Service User B, a 17 year old, involved the Registrant failing to protect another service user, Service User C a 12 year old girl who had been identified as being at risk of sexual exploitation. Service User B had a history of sexual allegations against him. Service User B began to spend time at the home of Service User C in the summer of 2014 because Service User B’s father was staying at that house. The Registrant it is alleged, failed to share information with service user C’s mother and the “Kingfisher Team” (a specialist team set up specifically to deal with cases of children at risk of grooming and sexual exploitation) working with Service User C in relation to Service User B’s background. Then on 24 September 2014 Service User B was arrested following an allegation he had sexually abused Service User C.

11. Service User C’s mother made a complaint about the failure to disclose Service User B’s history that was investigated by HC. The Registrant emailed HC on 15 December 2014 to accept responsibility for not passing on relevant information. Service User B was formally charged in respect of this matter a year later. As a result of this, Ms JM became aware of the issue and it formed part of her investigation.

12. The Registrant was suspended on 23 October 2015. He was interviewed by his employer on 27 November and 4 December 2015. He was given a final written warning. He returned to work in April 2016, with a reduced case load and subject to a performance management plan.

13. In September 2016, a second investigation was conducted by LG, in relation to the Registrant and another of his service users, Service User D. The concerns related to the Registrant failing to make appropriate arrangements and take appropriate actions in relation to the service user having sessions with a teaching assistant over the summer holidays and of failing to make arrangements for the service user while her supportive lodgings host was away on holiday.

14. He resigned and his last day was 23 November 2016.

15. In relation to all the particulars of the allegation the Registrant completed a “Notice to Admit Facts” document signed on 9 March 2018 in which all of the particulars of the allegation, including impairment, were admitted.

16. The Panel received evidence in relation to the following:

Children and Family Assessment Team (CAFAT) – A social worker being made aware of potential and significant risks to a child on their caseload must report concerns to CAFCAT within a fixed period of time, which enables a multi-agency strategy discussions to be set up within agree timescales;

Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) – The LADO role is in place to ensure that allegations against people working with children are progressed in a timely and appropriate way. The role covers all settings where people work with children not just local authority employees;


Section 47 Inquiry (s.47) – A section 47 Inquiry is initiated to decide whether and what type of action is required to safeguard and promote the welfare of a child who is suspected of, or likely to be suffering significant harm;

Looked After Children (LAC) - A looked after child is a child or young person who has become voluntarily accommodated or removed to Local Authority or Youth Detention Accomodation . The role of the LAC social worker is to ensure the provision of appropriate care, education and health services.


Decision on Facts

17. In coming to its decision on facts the Panel had regard to all the evidence both oral and documentary. It took into account the oral and written submissions of Mr Dite and it also had regard to the written submissions of Thompsons solicitors on behalf of the Registrant along with the witness statement of the Registrant.

18. The Panel was reminded that it is for the HCPC to prove its case and that there was no burden on the Registrant to prove anything. The standard of proof applied when considering whether the allegations are made out is that of the balance of probabilities.

19. The Panel accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor. The Panel drew no adverse inference from the Respondent’s non attendance.

20. The Panel heard from a number of witnesses of fact called by the HCPC:

• JM (Team Manager and Investigating Officer);

• HC (Service Manager);

• HBS (Family Support Worker, previously with the Kingfisher Team);

• LG (Team Manager and Investigating Officer).

21. In relation to witnesses generally the Panel bore in mind that an honest witness can be mistaken and that a mistaken witness is not necessarily wrong about every fact.  The Panel found all the witnesses to be very professional, credible and reliable. It was particularly impressed with the evidence of JM who had an excellent command of the factual history to the case. She along with the other witnesses gave her evidence in a fair and balanced way. She stated that she had always had a good working relationship with the Registrant and that he was well liked by all. Prior to the events in question she stated that there were no concerns identified with his practice as a social worker. All of the witnesses spoke positively of the Registrant as being personable and committed to service users in his care.

22. In coming to its decision on facts the Panel took account of the Registrant’s ‘notice to admit’ where he admitted all the facts and he admitted that his fitness to practise was impaired. In any event the Panel considered all the evidence presented to it before concluding that the relevant charge was made out.

Particular 1

1. In regards to Service User A:

Particular 1(a)

a) On or around 30 September 2013 Service User A made a disclosure of alleged verbal abuse and you did not:

i. Record the disclosure in the Looked After Children (LAC) Review Report dated 9 December 2013;

ii. Discuss the disclosure in the LAC review and/or record that you had discussed the disclosure in the LAC review dated 10 December 2013;

iii. Inform and/or record that you had informed the Local Area Designated Officer (LADO) of the disclosure.

23. The Panel accepted the evidence of JM. She conducted an investigation into the issues relating to Service User A. She set out the background to the case and explained what should have been done in this particular case.

24. Service User A was removed from his parents because of neglect, alcohol misuse, and concerns relating to possible sexual abuse. His parents were believed to be part of a paedophile ring. He was placed with foster parents in around 2005 and the Registrant became his allocated social worker on 9 July 2013.
 
25. On 30 September 2013 the head teacher of Service User A’s school sent an email to the Registrant detailing a disclosure made by the service user to his class teacher that his foster mother and the other foster children at his home had verbally abused him. The Registrant had recorded this email on the council’s computer system (also known as “Framework i” of “FWi”) on 2 October 2013. He had discussed this disclosure with someone from the Child and Family Assessment Team (‘CAFAT’) and the supervising social worker for the foster parents, Colleague A.
26. J M stated that this disclosure was not referred to in the Registrant’s LAC Review Report dated 9 December 2013 completed for Service User A’s next LAC Review on 10 December 2013. The Panel also had sight of the minutes of that LAC Review meeting and they do not refer to the disclosure. The Panel accepted J M’s evidence that it was not the Registrant’s responsibility to record the minutes of the meeting. However, she stated that given the nature of the disclosure if it had been raised it would have been discussed at the meeting and recorded. JM told the Panel that such disclosures should have been raised by the Registrant in the meeting and detailed in his LAC Review report as LAC Review meetings are meant to consider issues such as this that had occurred in the previous six months.
27. JM was the Registrant’s Line Manager between March 2015 and October 2015 while his usual Line Manager LG was on maternity leave. She conducted a review of Service User A’s case files. She noted that there was no record of the Registrant having informed the Local Authority Designated Officer (‘LADO’) of the disclosure made by Service User A. The Panel also took into account the Registrant’s admissions to Particular 1(a)(i). In respect of Particular 1(a)(ii) the Panel noted the admission of the Registrant, but it also had regard to the evidence of JM that there was no duty on the Registrant to record the fact that he had discussed the disclosure in the LAC review dated 10 December 2013.
28. JM told the Panel that as the disclosure was about a foster carer, the Registrant would have been expected to have informed the LADO of this disclosure or at least to have checked that someone else had done so. There is no evidence before the Panel that the LADO was informed. There is no record of the LADO being informed by the Registrant and the Registrant admits Particular 1(a)(iii). 
29. Based on the evidence before it, the Panel concluded, on the balance of probabilities, that the Registrant did not inform the LADO of the disclosure and he did not record informing the LADO of the disclosure.

30. In conclusion the Panel found Particular 1(a)(i) proved, Particular 1(a)(ii) is proved in part and only to the extent that the Registrant did not discuss the disclosure and Particular 1(a)(iii) is proved.

Particular 1(b)

b) On 19 December 2013 Service User A made a disclosure of alleged sexual abuse by Person A and you did not:

i. Ask Service User A and/or record that you had asked Service User A whether they wanted to notify the police;

ii. Notify the Child and Family Assessment Team (CAFAT) of the disclosure in a timely manner or at all;

iii. Complete the tasks assigned to you in a section 47 enquiry arising out of the Strategy Meeting on 23 January 2014;

iv. Discuss the disclosure in the LAC review and/or record that you had discussed the disclosure in the LAC review dated 3 June 2014;

v. Record the disclosure in the LAC Report dated 28 July 2014;

vi. Inform and/or record that you had informed your Manager of the disclosure until approximately one month after it was made by Service User A.

31. On the evidence before the Panel it can be seen that Service User A received psychological therapy from an organisation called ATTACH. On 19 December 2013 a worker from ATTACH entered a case note on Service User A’s file detailing a therapy session in which Service User A had disclosed he had previously been sexually abused by a family friend when he lived with his birth family. JM told the Panel that this was a very significant disclosure. JM conceded that she did not know exactly when the Registrant found out about this disclosure, but in her Review, she noted that the next reference to it in the records is in a record of a supervision session on 20 January 2014 that the Registrant had with his then team manager, LG.

32. JM told the Panel that the Registrant should have notified his team manager and CAFAT immediately of this disclosure. When he informed his manager on 20 January 2014, this was approximately one month after the disclosure had been made by Service User A.

33. It can be seen from the records before the Panel that, in that supervision meeting, the Registrant’s team manager had to prompt the Registrant to notify CAFAT of the disclosure, one month after it had been made. JM explained why informing CAFAT after one month was not in a timely manner, as this should have been done immediately by the Registrant and should not have required prompting in a supervision session. Whilst there is no record of CAFAT being informed, in the case file that was presented to the Panel, JM confirmed that they must have been told because a strategy discussion/meeting was held about the disclosure on 23 January 2014 and s.47 enquiries were initiated.

34. In 2015, during her investigation, JM found a record of the s.47 enquiries relating to this disclosure. She stated that it was the Registrant’s responsibility, as Service User A’s allocated social worker to compete the s.47 enquiries. JM observed that the form she found was largely left blank and the specified tasks listed under “Actions Undertaken” (all bar one of which were to be completed by the Registrant) were not recorded as ever being completed.

35. The Panel had regard to the documentary evidence before it and it is recorded that the Registrant visited Service User A on 22 January 2014. The record of that visit indicates that the disclosure made by Service User A was discussed. J M was critical of the fact that there is no record of the Registrant having asked Service User A, whether he wanted to notify the police. She stated that the Registrant would have been expected to have had such a discussion.  She observed that this had been specified as a task for the Registrant, by his team manager in his supervision session on 20 January 2014.

36. The Panel noted that the only reference to significant disclosures in the LAC Review report dated 28 July 2014 is where it states that Service User A found the ATTACH therapy worker “easy to talk to and is willing to talk to her about past issues of sexual abuse”. J M told the Panel that such a significant disclosure should have been explicitly recorded and detailed by the Registrant in the report and it was not. J M also told the Panel that the disclosure should have been discussed by the Registrant at the LAC Review meeting on 3 June 2014. The minutes of that meeting do not record that the disclosure was discussed by the Registrant. The Panel accepts that it was not the Registrant’s responsibility to record the minutes of the meeting. However, the report that he did complete, does not detail this disclosure. The Panel therefore concluded that the disclosure was not discussed by the Registrant at the LAC Review meeting. Further, the Registrant had admitted this Particular.

37. In conclusion the Panel found Particular 1(b)(i),(ii),(iii),(iv),(v),(vi), proved.

Particular 1(c)

c) On or around 31 January 2014 Service User A made a disclosure in relation to alleged physical abuse by Child A and you did not:

i. Update and/or record that you had updated CAFAT that Service User A upheld the disclosure;

ii. Save the original disclosure in the case notes until 14 October 2015;

iii. Inform and/or record that you had informed the LADO;

iv. Sufficiently discuss and or record that you had sufficiently discussed the disclosures with Service User A;

v. Accurately record two separate disclosures by Service User A.

38. JM drew the Panel’s attention to a case note on Service User A’s file which indicates that on 31 January 2014, the head teacher of Service User A’s school informed the Registrant, that Service User A had disclosed that his foster carers had shouted at him and that Child A had slammed his head against the wall and punched him 4 times. This email was not entered onto the system until 14 October 2015. JM told the Panel this was only entered onto the system as a result of her prompting the Registrant.

39. The Panel also had regard to a case note entry relating to 3 February 2014, which was entered onto the system by the Registrant on 3 March 2014. It noted that Service User A had made another disclosure that at the weekend (1-2 February, 2014) he was physically abused by Person D ( his carer) and Child A ( the carer’s son). This indicated that the Registrant had consulted CAFAT and it was decided that the Registrant would talk to the Service User at his school that day. Another case note entry also relating to 3 February 2014 (although incorrectly dated by the Registrant as 3 March 2014), referred to the Registrant visiting the Service User at school and the Service User disclosing that he had been physically assaulted by one of the foster carers and Child A at the weekend. The Registrant recorded that the service user knew that the Registrant “doubted his story”, but it also states that Service User A had upheld the disclosure (“I asked [Service User A] if the physical abuse really happened. He said yes”).

40. JM stated that the fact that two separate disclosures had been made was not accurately recorded by the Registrant. She stated that the details of there being two separate disclosures was not made clear and she was critical of the fact that the email relating to the 31 January 2014 disclosure, was not put onto the system until over 18 months later. J M told the Panel that the record of the 3 February 2014 visit was concerning because in her view this indicates that the two disclosures were not sufficiently discussed by the Registrant with Service User A. The Panel also took into account that the Registrant admits Particular 1(c)(iv).

41. JM reviewed the case file. She stated that there is no record of the Registrant having updated CAFAT that the Service User had upheld the disclosures and there is no record of the Registrant having informed the LADO of the disclosures. The Panel also took into account the Registrant’s admissions to the relevant Particulars.

42. In conclusion the Panel finds 1(c)(i), (ii),(iii),(iv),(v) proved.

Particular 1(d)

d) Informed your manager that Service User A had retracted a disclosure when he had not.

43. The Panel had regard to the evidence of LG and JM. JM told the Panel that the record of 19 February 2014 supervision session mistakenly refers to the visit where Service User A discussed being physical assaulted as “22/01” instead of 3 February 2014.


44. The 22 January 2014 visit involved Service User A discussing the disclosure of historic sexual abuse at an ATTACH therapy session. The record of the 19 February 2014 supervision session states that “He had made an allegation that the carer’s birth son had assaulted him physically to school, Krastin had visited him and he admitted he had lied about the incident”. LG told the Panel, she recorded this information in the supervision session itself as she was told it by the Registrant. However, it is clear from the record of the 3 February 2014 visit that Service User A had not in fact retracted the disclosure. The Registrant also admitted this Particular.


45. The Panel finds Particular 1(d) proved.
Particular 1(e)

e) On 18 February 2014 Service User A made a disclosure of alleged historical sexual abuse by Person B and physical abuse by Person B and/or Person C and you did not:

i. Advise and/or record that you had advised CAFAT of the disclosure;

ii. Report this disclosure to the police;

iii. Inform you manager of the disclosure;

iv. Initiate a strategy discussion or meeting;

v. Discuss the disclosure in the LAC review and/or record that you had discussed the disclosure in the LAC review dated 3 June 2014;

vi. Record the disclosure in the LAC Report dated July 2014.

46.  At the outset of the hearing the HCPC offered no evidence in respect of Particular 1(e)(v). The Panel accepts that this was an appropriate concession in light of the lack of evidence.

47. The Panel considered the record of Personal Case Notes for Service User A. On 18 February 2014, during a car journey on the way to an ATTACH therapy session, Service User A disclosed to one of his foster carers that he had been sexually abused by his birth father on many occasions. JM told the Panel this was a long awaited and very significant disclosure. Service User A’s biological parents were linked to a paedophile ring and had older siblings who had alleged sexual abuse within the family. Professionals working with Service User A had anticipated that there may well come a time when Service User A would make similar disclosures. It was further anticipated that when such a disclosure was made it would trigger three particular areas of activity: first counselling and support would be made available to Service User A; secondly the disclosure would be added to the police investigation in to the biological parents and others and could be of some significance in that regard; and thirdly, the disclosure might then enable safeguarding measures to be put in place protecting other vulnerable children.

48. The disclosure was initially recorded on the case file of the foster carer by Colleague A, the foster carers supervising social worker. In that entry Colleague A noted that she would “alert G[….] and Krastin”.  It appears from the evidence that GB, the ATTACH therapy worker must have been alerted, since she copied and pasted the case note entry onto Service User A’s case file on 28 February 2014.

49. JM told the Panel, from her review of the case files, there is no record of the Registrant having informed his manager, LG, of the disclosure either in the 19 February 2014 supervision session or subsequently. JM also told the Panel that there was also no record of the Registrant having advised CAFAT of the disclosure and no record of the police having been informed. Further, there was no evidence that a strategy discussion was held about this disclosure.

50. The LAC Review report dated 28 July 2014 completed by the Registrant states that Service User A found the ATTACH therapy worker “easy to talk to and is willing to talk to her about past issues of sexual abuse”. There is no reference to the disclosure made on 18 February 2014.

51. In conclusion the Panel finds 1(e)(i), (ii),(iii),(iv), and (vi) proved. No evidence was offered in respect of 1(e)(v).

Particular 1(f)

f) On 03 March 2014 Service User A made a disclosure of alleged physical abuse by Person D and Child A and you did not:

i. Advise and/or record that you had advised CAFAT of the disclosure;

ii. Advise and/or record that you had advised the LADO of the disclosure;

iii. Discuss and/or record that you had discussed the disclosure with your manager until approximately 23 days after the disclosure was made;

iv. Discuss and/or record that you had discussed the disclosure with Persons D and/or E;

v. Record this in the LAC review minutes dated 3 June 2014.

52. The Panel had regard to a case note entry created by the Registrant on 3 March 2014 referred to a disclosure made that day by Service User A that his foster mother, Person D, had “tried to strangle him and had punched him” and that Child A had grabbed him “by the ears” and dragged him “round the house” . JM told the Panel that there is no record of the Registrant having advised CAFAT or the LADO of the disclosure.

53. The Panel also took into account the admission of the Registrant. It is apparent from the evidence that the Registrant had formed a view that the Service User A was not being truthful regarding his disclosures relating to his foster family and having formed that view he did not follow appropriate procedures.

54. Service User’s A disclosure was discussed with the Registrant’s manager in a supervision session on 28 March 2014 , but this was not until 23 days later.

55. In respect of Particular 1(f)(iv) JM told the Panel, that there is evidence that the Registrant did in fact discuss the disclosures with Persons D and E in an email recorded on the system by the ATTACH worker, but there is no record created by the Registrant of this discussion.

56. In relation to Particular 1(f)(v), the Panel accepts JM’s evidence that it was not the Registrant’s responsibility to record the minutes of LAC Review meetings.  On the basis of that evidence the Panel finds Particular 1(f)(v) Not proved.

57. In conclusion the Panel finds Particular 1(f)(i)(ii)(iii) proved. It finds Particular 1(f)(iv) proved in part and only to the extent that the Registrant did not record the discussions with Persons D and E. Particular 1(f)(v) is found Not proved.

Particular 1(g)

g) On 04 June 2014 Service User A made a disclosure of alleged physical and verbal abuse by Person E and you did not:

i. Record this disclosure on Service User A’s case file;

ii. Advise and/or record that you had advised CAFAT of the disclosure;

iii. Advise and/or record that you had advised the LADO of the disclosure;

iv. Discuss and/or record that you had discussed the disclosure with Service User A;

v. Record the disclosure in the LAC report dated 24 November 2014;

vi. Inform and/or record that you had informed your Manager of the disclosure.

58. The Panel took into account the evidence of JM as well as the documentary evidence before it. Colleague A, the supervising social worker for Service User A’s foster carers, made a case note entry on Person D’s case file on 4 June 2014 regarding a disclosure made by Service User A to his teacher at school. The disclosure related to Person E, Service User A’s foster father, who it was said, had shouted at him and punched him in the face. The case note entry records that the teacher at the school had called the Registrant about the disclosure. JM told the Panel, that the Registrant did not record this disclosure on Service User A’s case file. JM stated that she only found out about this disclosure by reviewing the case file of the foster carers. JM explained that whilst the case entry indicates that the teacher did not believe that Service User A had been punched in the face, this was still an important event that should have been recorded by the Registrant and appropriate procedures should have been followed. The records also indicate that neither CAFAT nor the LADO, nor was the Registrant’s manager were informed of this disclosure.

59. The LAC Review report dated 24 November 2014 completed by the Registrant does not detail the disclosure and there is no evidence that the Registrant discussed the disclosure with Service User A. Indeed, the report records Service User A having a “good relationship with Person E”. The Panel concluded that on the balance of probabilities, given that Registrant did not record the disclosure on the Service User’s case file, together with his admissions to these Particulars, that there was a failure to record and to follow appropriate procedures as a result of the disclosure.

60. In conclusion Particulars 1(g)(i), (ii),(iii),(iv),(v) and (vi) are  proved.

Particular 1(h)

h) On 04 December 2014 Service User A made a disclosure in relation to alleged physical abuse and emotional abuse by Person E and you did not:

i. Discuss and/or record that you had discussed the disclosure with Service User A in sufficient detail;

ii. Discuss and/or record that you had discussed the disclosure with Person E in sufficient detail;

iii. Advise and/or record that you had advised CAFAT of the disclosure;

iv. Discuss the disclosure in the LAC review and/or record that you had discussed the disclosure in the LAC review dated 13 May 2015.

61. The Panel took account of the documentary evidence before it. On 4 December 2014 the Registrant created a case note entry in Service User A’s case file copying and pasting an email received by him detailing a disclosure made by Service User A at school that morning. Service User A it is said disclosed that Person E, the foster father, had slapped him on the face, told him to be quiet, thrown his school council badge on a fire, and said he would not sign a form required for a school trip. Service User A had said he wanted to see his social worker and did not want to go home that night.

62. The Registrant visited Service User A that day. The record of that visit on 4 December 2014 made by the Registrant also includes details of a subsequent visit on 8 December 2014 and notes that the Service User had admitted he “made up the allegations”. JM told the Panel  that on the 4 December 2014 the Assistant Team Manager, sent an email that indicated that the Registrant had told her that Service User A “continues to say that he was hit around the face”. JM told the Panel that the record indicates that the Registrant did not discuss the disclosure with Service User A in sufficient detail. The Panel concluded that this was a reasonable inference from the evidence before it.

63. There was a visit from the Registrant and Colleague A to Person D and E on the 8 December 2014. The Panel accepts JM’s evidence that the Registrant has not recorded the discussion in sufficient detail.  However, the Panel concluded on the balance of probabilities that it did not have sufficient evidence to conclude that the discussions with person E were insufficient. It therefore follows that Particular 1(h)(ii) is proved only to the extent that the record is insufficient.

64. JM told the Panel that CAFAT should have been advised of the disclosure but there is no record that they were informed. She also told the Panel that the minutes of the 13 May 2015 LAC Review indicate that the Registrant did not discuss this disclosure at that review. The Panel concluded that this was a reasonable inference based on the evidence before it. JM accepted that it was not the Registrant’s responsibility to record the minutes.

65. The Panel therefore concluded that Particulars 1(h)(i)(iii)(iv) are proved and Particular 1(h)(ii) is proved in Part and only to the extent that it relates to not recording the disclosure about Person E in sufficient detail.

Particular 1(j) and 1(k)

j) On 11 September 2015 Service User A and Person D made disclosures in relation to potential physical abuse by person E of Service User A and you did not:
i. Advise and/or record that you had advised CAFAT of the disclosure.

k) On 11 September 2015 Service User A went missing and you did not conduct a Return Interview within 72 Hours of Service User A being found.

66. On 11 September 2015 Service User A ran away, being returned home by police later that night. Person D had disclosed that Service User A had been banging his head against the wall and that Person E had grabbed him away from the wall and that Service User A could have marks from this. Service User A was found and he disclosed to the police that he had been assaulted by Person E, his foster father.JM told the Panel there is no record that CAFAT were ever informed of these disclosures by the Registrant. The Panel also noted the registrant’s admission. The Panel concluded based on the evidence before it that on the balance of probabilities, this indicates that CAFAT were never actually informed.

67. JM stated that a Return Interview should have been completed by the Registrant within 72 hours of Service User A returning home on 11 September 2015. She said the visit required for the Return Interview could have taken place on 14 September 2015 which would have been within timescales. However, the Registrant did not in fact visit Service User A on 14 September 2015 prioritising his attendance with another service user instead which, in JM’s view, should not have been his priority. The Registrant did not in fact visit Service User A until Friday 18 September 2015. However, that visit could not have been sufficient for the Return Interview because Person E was angry and hostile towards the Registrant and the Registrant did not complete the Return Interview until 25 September 2015.

68. The Panel finds Particulars 1(j)(i) and 1(k) proved.

Particular 1(l)

l) Between September 2013 and October 2015, you did not regularly check and/or did not record on his file that you had checked Service user A’s bedroom in respect of living conditions.

69. On 27 July 2013 the Registrant recorded a home visit to Service User A in which he had described the poor state of Service User A’s bedroom. JM told the Panel, she conducted a review of Service User A’s file and noted that the Registrant had recorded 17 LAC visits in relation to Service User A between September 2013 and October 2015. She stated that of those 17 visits only 4 were recorded as taking place at Service User A’s home and none of them referred to the bedroom of Service User A being checked. The evidence suggests that the Registrant did check the bedroom on at least one occasion as this is referred to in one of the registrant’s supervision sessions in November 2014. However, there is no documentary evidence that the bedroom was being regularly checked. In interview with JM the Registrant had claimed that he checked Service User A’s room on each alternate visit and that “it was no different to the rest of the house.” The bedroom was in a poor state when JM visited Service User A on 2 November 2015. The Panel also took into account Registrant’s admission to this Particular, that he did not regularly check Service User A’s bedroom.

70. The Panel therefore finds this particular proved.

Particular 2

2. In regards to Service User B, you:

a) Did not share relevant information regarding Service User B with Service User C’s mother including:

i. Information about previous sexual allegations made against Service User B;

ii. A risk assessment.

b) Did not notify and/or did not record that you had notified the Kingfisher team of the potential risks of Service User B staying at the home of Service User C.

71. The Panel heard that Service User B was, at the time in question, 17 years old and had been placed on a care order in 2008 due to neglect and parental drug and alcohol abuse. At the time in question the Registrant was Service User B’s allocated social worker.

72. In July 2011 when he was 14 years old, he and a 14 year old girl conceived a child that was born in 2012. In October 2011 a 13 year old girl made an allegation of rape against him. In interview he had admitted having “consensual sex” with the girl. The CPS did not proceed with a case of rape against Service User B.

73. On 24 September 2014 Service User B was arrested following an allegation he had sexually abused Service User C. He was re-arrested in respect of this charge a year later in September/October 2015.

74. Service User C was, at the time, in question 12 years old and she was known to social services because of concerns related to online grooming by older males. Her case was allocated to the Kingfisher Team, a specialist team based in Cowley Police station set up specifically to deal with cases of children at risk of grooming and sexual exploitation by older males.  The Panel heard from HBS a specialist family support worker in the Kingfisher team who was allocated the case of Service User C and who described Service User C as very vulnerable and at risk of sexual exploitation.

75. HBS told the Panel she had become aware that the father of Service User B was staying in the family home of Service User C. She also told the Panel that she was aware that Service User B had stayed overnight at the home on one occasion. HBS said that she was aware from the council’s computer system that the Registrant was the allocated social worker for Service User B and as such she had contacted him as she wanted to ensure there were no risks surrounding Service User B or his father being at the home of Service User C.

76. The Registrant sent an email in reply to HBS’s inquiry in the following terms: “Father B is father to three of my lac children…and Service User B. Father B is currently living with Mother C and her family …. According to Father B they are friends who are only helping him out until he finds his own place.”

77. The Panel found HBS to be a persuasive witness she was clear in her evidence that the information in the email was the entirety of the information that the Registrant provided her with regarding Service User B. At no point did the Registrant notify her of Service User B’s history and the potential risks of Service User B staying at the home of Service User C. If anybody else in the Kingfisher Team had been told this information by the Registrant she, as the allocated worker on Service User C’s case, would have been informed, and she had not been. The Panel also took into account the witness statement of the Registrant. He accepts in his witness statement that he did not inform the Kingfisher team of the risks. He also accepted this in an email he sent to Hazel Cringle, who was involved with handling the complaint made by the mother of Service User C, on 15 December 2014.

78. HC told the Panel that part of the mother’s complaint was that she had not been told of any sexual risk in relation to Service User B. HBS told the Panel that the mother of Service User C was pro-active and supported the work of the Kingfisher Team and if she had been told of the previous sexual allegations made against Service User B she would have done something about it. The Registrant has also admitted Particular 2(a). From the documentary evidence it is evident that the Registrant knew that Service User B was spending a lot of time with his father at Service User C’s home including staying overnight there on a frequent and regular basis. On 4 September 2014 the LAC Review for Service User B was unusually held in the home of Service User C. Further, after the LAC Review, Service User B’s IRO, Colleague B had specifically prompted the Registrant to share the background of Service User B, including the rape allegation, with the mother of Service User C.

79. The Registrant concedes in his witness statement, he was focussing on the needs of the children allocated to him and not the risks Service User B presented to others.

80. The Panel finds this Particular proved.

Particular 3

3. You did not ensure that Service User D was appropriately safeguarded during summer holiday sessions with a teaching assistant in that you:

a) Did not ensure that information relating to the arrangement was sufficiently recorded on Service User D’s file;

b) Did not inform and/or record that you had informed the Independent Reviewing Officer (IRO) of the arrangement;

c) Did not inform your manager of the arrangement in a timely manner;

d) Did not complete and/or record that you had completed a risk assessment of the arrangement;

e) Did not discuss and/or record that you had discussed the arrangement with Service User D.

81. LG described to the Panel how in a supervision session on 15 August 2016 her “eyebrows were raised” in relation to information the Registrant told her about his having apparently agreed to a teaching assistant giving sessions to Service User D over the summer holiday. LG was concerned that this situation presented obvious potential risks given that Service User D was a vulnerable 16 year old and the sessions were apparently arranged to take place at the home where she was staying. Given the nature of these sessions she told the Panel that she felt concerned that appropriate safeguarding arrangements had not been put in place. Such arrangements could protect the child and the teaching assistant, and would take account of the interests of the host family where Service User D lived and the interests of the school where the teaching assistant worked. Her concern was not because of any particular issue about the teaching assistant, but was to ensure that the Local Authority fulfilled its safeguarding responsibilities towards a child in its care. She was also concerned that she had not been informed prior to this unusual arrangement being agreed.

82. In relation to the 15 August 2016 supervision session LG told the Panel that she had asked the Registrant for details of the arrangements as there were no details recorded on Service User D’s case file. She described how the Registrant had left the session momentarily and returned with an email sent by the teaching assistant on 11 August 2016 that referred to a session having occurred the previous morning “as discussed”. The Registrant told LG that he thought he had agreed to the arrangement in a telephone conversation but conceded that he had not made a record of that conversation on Service User D’s case file.  It was unclear how many sessions between the teaching assistant and Service User D in fact occurred.

83. LG was also concerned that the IRO was not informed of the arrangement. She also stated that there was no risk assessment completed or recorded in relation to the unusual arrangement, which she would have expected the Registrant to have undertaken.

84. LG told the Panel that there was no record of the views of Service User D having been sought by the Registrant in relation to these holiday sessions to be conducted at her home. She said to the Panel that she remembered the Registrant telling her that he had not discussed the arrangement with Service User D. In a subsequent “reflective supervision session” on 5 September 2016 the Registrant conceded that he “didn’t click” about how Service User D could view the arrangement and that he had not thought about the “messages” it could have sent regarding boundaries. The Panel took into account the Registrant’s admission to Particular 3.

85. The Panel finds Particular 3 proved in its entirety.

Particular 4

4. Between approximately 15 August 2016 and 15 September 2016, you did not ensure that appropriate plans were in place to support Service User D while her supportive lodgings host was on holiday in that you:

a) Did not make sufficient enquiries about the details of the holiday;

b) Did not make sufficient enquiries with the supportive lodgings host about the support to be offered to Service User D;

c) On or around 26 August 2016, at a LAC visit with Service User D and her supportive lodgings host, did not discuss and/or record that you had discussed the plans for support during the holiday;

d) Did not visit and/or arrange to visit Service User D as directed during a supervision meeting on 7 September 2016;

e) Did not inform the IRO that Service User D was not going on the holiday.

86. The Panel heard that Service User D had planned to go on holiday with her host family in September 2016 and the Registrant, in May 2016, had helped arrange for her to have time off from school to take the holiday. However, the position changed and in the 15 August 2016 supervision session with LG, the Registrant informed her that Service User D no longer wanted to go on the holiday and that she would be staying alone in the host family home with a neighbour checking on her.

87. The evidence shows that in the 15 August 2016 supervision session the Registrant was tasked with making an enquiry regarding the support Service User D would receive while she was alone when her host was on holiday. The Registrant emailed the host on 16 August 2016 who replied that her neighbour and her daughter would be “looking out for [Service User D] whilst I am away they both have DVS checks as they work with children”. LG stated that the Registrant should have responded and enquired further to obtain addresses, telephone numbers, and details of the exact level of support that was to be offered but he did not do so.

88. The Panel noted that the Registrant recorded a LAC visit on 26 August 2016 when Service User D and her host were in attendance. LG stated that this would have been a perfect opportunity to make enquiries about the holiday and the support, Service User D would receive, when she was left alone. The Registrant made no such enquires.

89. LG told the Panel that during a supervision session with the Registrant on 7 September 2016 it became apparent to her that the Registrant had not established a clear support plan for Service User D while the host family was on holiday and she instructed him to make arrangements for a support plan and that he should visit the Service User with a senior manager whilst the host family was on holiday. In fact, it appears from the evidence, that the Registrant was caught unawares regarding when the holiday was taking place. On 8 September 2016 the Registrant emailed the hosts family support worker asking her to send him the support plan for Service User D. In fact the support worker was herself on leave and did not reply until 15 September 2016 when she advised the Registrant that as he was the Social Worker for Service User D it was his responsibility to prepare the plan. She further advised the Registrant that the host family were already on holiday and she suggested that the Registrant should visit Service User D. On 15 September 2016 the Registrant did then visit the host family’s home, albeit alone and not accompanied by a manager as he had been directed, but Service User D was out

90. LG told the Panel that the Registrant should have told the IRO that Service User D was not going on the holiday and would be on her own but he did not do so.

91. The Panel finds Particular 4 proved in its entirety.

Decision on Grounds

92. On the basis of the facts found proved the Panel went on to consider whether those facts amounted to misconduct and/ or lack of competence. It took into account the submissions made by Mr Dite on behalf of the HCPC and those submissions in writing from Thompson Solicitors and the witness statement of the Registrant. The Panel also had regard to the advice of the Legal Assessor.  The Panel noted that in considering misconduct and or lack of competence, it exercised its own judgement. The Panel also took into account the public interest which includes protection of service users, maintenance of public confidence in the profession and the declaring and upholding of proper standards of conduct and behaviour.

93. The Panel first considered whether the facts found proved amounted to misconduct as distinct from a lack of competence. In particular the Panel had regard to the distinction between misconduct and lack of competence as identified in the case of Calhaem v GMC [2007] EWHC 2606 Admin.

94. The Panel considered that the Registrant had the requisite knowledge, experience and skills to carry out the tasks that were expected of him. He qualified as a social worker in the UK in 2011 and has been working as a social worker since then. No issues as to his lack of competence had been raised prior to the incidents involved in this case. Witnesses spoke positively of work the Registrant had done on other cases and of instances when he had properly engaged with others including the LADO, CAFAT, other social workers and his manager. The Panel therefore did not consider this case to be a lack of competence case.

95. The Panel next considered whether the facts found proved amount to misconduct. It noted that not all breaches of the code amount to misconduct.

96. The Panel considered the HCPC Standards of Conduct, Performance and Ethics (the 2012 edition and the 2016 edition). It considers that the Registrant breached in relation to the 2012 edition:

Standard 1: You must act in the best interests of service users.

Standard 7: You must communicate properly and effectively with service users and other practitioners.

Standard 10: You must keep accurate records.

Standard 13: You must … make sure that your behaviour does not damage the public’s confidence in you or your profession.
 
97. It considers that the Registrant breached in relation to the 2016 edition:

Standard 1: Promote and protect the interests of service users and carers

Standard 2: Communicate appropriately and effectively

Standard 6: Manage risk

Standard 7: Report concerns about safety

Standard 10: Keep records of your work

98. The Panel also considered that Standards of Proficiency for Social Workers, it considers that the Registrant breached:

1.3 be able to undertake assessments of risk, need and capacity and respond appropriately

1.5 be able to recognise signs of harm, abuse and neglect and know how to respond appropriately, including recognising situations which require immediate action

2.3 understand the need to protect, safeguard, promote and prioritise the wellbeing of children, young people and vulnerable adults

3.4 be able to establish and maintain personal and professional boundaries

99. The Panel noted that in respect of this case that there was a pattern of behaviour which can be characterised as lack of recording, not taking appropriate action when risk was apparent, and not sharing information with colleagues in particular CAFAT, LADO and management. There is also ample evidence of a lack of judgement. The Panel was particularly concerned with the Registrant’s over identification with some of his service users (for example, referring to his service users as “my boys”) whilst putting other service users at risk.

100. The Panel identified a number of serious concerns arising from the Registrants inaction.

101. In relation to Service User A, the Registrant did not act when there were disclosures by him of abuse by his biological family. There was reason to anticipate disclosures given the biological family’s history of being involved in a paedophilia ring. As a result of the Registrant’s failures actions that could have been taken were not leaving Service User A with inadequate support and other children left potentially at risk. The Service User A was also let down and he made it clear he felt let down when the Registrant failed to complete Return Interview in a timely way after Service User A had run away. The Registrant should have prioritised the interview but he did not do so. Other disclosures of abuse were not appropriately recorded, reported and actioned amounting to failures in safeguarding.

102. Given the context of this case with social workers and indeed the general public being aware of child exploitation and abuse, the Registrants failings were particularly serious.

103. Service User A suffered harm. His concerns were not listened to and he was left longer than he should have been in a foster care home that was not the right environment for him. This particular point is evidenced by the fact that when Service User A was moved on, there were no more allegations being made by him about his carers.

104. In relation to Service Users B and C the Panel was also concerned about the Registrant’s blinkered attitude. The Registrant failed to see the potential risk of harm that Service User B posed to Service User C. The evidence showed that the Registrant must have known the significance of Service User C being allocated to the Kingfisher Team, indicating that she was a very serious risk of sexual exploitation. He knew of Service User B’s history of inappropriate sexual conduct towards teenage girls such as Service User C yet he took no steps to manage the obvious risks of allowing Service User B to stay overnight at Service User C’s home. Service User C told her mother that she had engaged in having oral sex with Service User B and it is reported that Service User B admitted to the mother that this was true and that he was in love with her daughter. As a result of the sexual activity between Service User B and C, Service User C had to have a medical examination and to be interviewed by the Police service.

105. In respect of Service User D, the Registrant completely failed to manage risk appropriately. As a result, the child was left at home alone and the registrant only went to visit when the support worker for the host family suggested he should do so. This in the Panel’s view demonstrates a worrying disregard of the risk of harm being caused to vulnerable young people.

106. The Panel had no hesitation in concluding that the conduct identified in this case demonstrates a serious falling short of the standards expected of a Registered Social worker.

Decision on Impairment

107. The Panel has taken into account that the purpose of these proceedings is not to punish or re-punish the practitioner for past misdoings but to protect the public against the acts and omissions of those who are not currently fit to practise. In approaching this task the Panel applied its own professional judgment. The Panel had regard to the practice notes issued by the HCPC (Finding that Fitness to Practise is Impaired and Fitness to Practise: What does it mean. The Panel took account of the case of the CHRE v Grant [2011] which reminds Panels of the need to consider the public interest.

108. The Panel also considered the case of Cohen-v- GMC [2008]. In particular, it had regard to whether the conduct identified is capable of being remedied whether it has been remedied and whether it is unlikely to be repeated.

109. In respect of the personal component of impairment, the Panel considered that the Registrant has demonstrated insight.  He has made full admissions to the allegations and he accepted that he fell below acceptable standards of professional behaviour. However, it is of concern to the Panel, even after reading his witness statement that it is not clear as to how these issues could have occurred. The Registrant does not give any insight as to why the serious professional failings identified in this case might have occurred. There is evidence that prior to these events there was no concern with the Registrant’s behaviour. On the contrary, he was highly regarded by his colleagues.

110. The Panel accepts that there is some evidence in the past of reflective practice. However, there is no evidence of retraining. The Panel remains concerned that there is a significant risk of repetition. In coming to this conclusion, the Panel had regard to the fact that the issues that occurred with Service User D, were when the Registrant was on a final written warning, was being supervised and had a lot of support from his work colleagues.

111. The Panel went on to consider the public component of impairment. These were very serious failings. The misconduct which was serious was repeated. His misconduct covered basic elements of social worker practice which involves a fundamental element of information sharing.

112. The Panel considered that the public and the profession would not expect a registered social worker to lack judgement to the extent that is seen in this case and it would expect that a registered social worker understood the need to take appropriate action, when risk was apparent and would respond appropriately. The misconduct identified in this case is totally unacceptable and a clear message is required to send to the public and the profession that such behaviour is unacceptable.

113. This conduct undermines public confidence in the profession and a finding of current impairment is required to uphold proper professional standards of conduct and behaviour and to maintain confidence in the regulator.

114. The Panel concluded that the Registrant’s fitness to practise is currently impaired.

Sanction

115. In considering what, if any, sanction to impose the Panel had regard to the HCPC Indicative Sanctions Policy and the advice of the Legal Assessor. It also took into account Mr Dite’s submissions and the written submissions sent on behalf of the Registrant.


116. The Panel notes that the purpose of fitness to practise proceedings is not to punish the practitioner for past misdoings but to protect the public against the acts and omissions of those who are not currently fit to practise. It is part of the public interest not to permanently deprive the public of an otherwise competent practitioner.


117. In considering the appropriate sanction if any, the Panel had regard to the aggravating and mitigating factors in this case.


118. In mitigation the Panel noted that the Registrant admitted all the allegations at the outset of this case and he was fully engaged with his employer throughout its investigations. The Registrant had expressed deep remorse at the time the issues were brought to his attention and to this Panel in writing.  In his witness statement the Registrant explained that he was determined to learn from his mistakes. He stated that he never sought to deny that there were significant serious failings in his practice. He stated that he had always sought to demonstrate a commitment to the young people he worked with. He goes on to state; “at this time I have no intentions of going back to social work”. The Panel accepts that the Registrant was considered by all those who worked with him as  personable and dedicated to his service users.


119. There are a number of aggravating factors in this case. Service User A suffered actual harm as the Panel already explained in its decision on grounds and impairment. The Registrant’s failure to share information allowed Service User B access to a teenage girl who was also a service user, when Service User B had a known sexual history with minors and Service User C was vulnerable to sexual exploitation. Service User D was also exposed to a risk of harm. The fact that no harm came to her was not through the Registrant managing the situations that arose. The Registrant has not demonstrated to the Panel that he has insight into why the serious professional failings identified in this case might have occurred.


120. The Panel was unequivocal in its view that this is a serious case involving departures from fundamental tenets of the Social Work profession. The misconduct identified involved persistent failures to record properly, failing to take appropriate action when risk was apparent and failing to share information. Further the misconduct demonstrated a gross lack of judgment in a number of significant respects, inaction and the failure to maintain professional objectivity. The failings were repeated over a sustained period of time and breached several relevant standards.


121. The extent of the Registrant’s poor practice can be seen in relation to his failure to share information with colleagues. The Panel considered this to be particularly serious.  By sharing information the decisions and judgments by one professional can be reviewed and, if necessary, corrected or guided by another professional, for example when a social worker reports matters to the LADO or their manager. In addition, by sharing information the bigger picture of a Service User’s life can be better understood and supported. The need for information sharing has been underscored by public inquires and should have been well understood by the Registrant. But instead he chose to disregard safeguarding practices in pursuit of what he thought was best for the children allocated to his care.


122. The Panel considered that, given the seriousness of the misconduct and the risk of harm to service users, it would be inappropriate to take no action. It went on to consider the available sanctions in ascending order.


123. The Panel next considered whether a Caution Order would be sufficient. A Caution Order would not restrict the Registrant’s ability to practise and therefore such an order would not protect service users and would undermine public confidence in the HCPC as regulator.


124. The Panel then considered whether the imposition of a Conditions of Practice Order would be sufficient. The Panel considered that the Registrant had been given ample opportunity to remedy his failings and noted that even in a protected and supported environment  when he returned to work following his final written warning, his failings persisted and he still failed to demonstrate a safe standard of practice. The Panel concluded that a Conditions of Practice Order would not be practicable or workable.


125. The Panel then went on to consider the imposition of a Suspension Order. Such an order would provide public protection in that the Registrant would be unable to practise as a Social Worker for a period of time. During any period of suspension, a Registrant would be expected to be able to develop insight and remedy the failings identified. However, the Registrant’s failings persisted for a number of years and affected a number of service users. As a result of his failings Service Users A and C suffered harm and the care of others, including Service User B, was compromised. The Registrant had been the subject of disciplinary proceedings which entailed a suspension from work and which resulted in a warning and a supportive performance plan on his return to work. Despite these measures and all support the Registrant had received, he still failed, as shown by his wholly inadequate support for Service User D.


126. The Panel concluded that a Suspension Order would neither reflect the seriousness of the case nor properly uphold standards nor maintain confidence in the profession of social work.


127. The Panel therefore considered that the appropriate and proportionate Order would be a Striking Off Order. In coming to its decision the Panel took into account the public interest which includes protection of Service Users, maintenance of public confidence in the profession and the declaring and upholding of proper standards of conduct and behaviour.


128. A Striking Off Order prohibits the Registrant from practising in his chosen profession as a Social Worker. The Panel concluded, however that the public interest in ensuring that Service Users are safe, and the need to uphold proper standards, maintain public confidence in the profession and in the regulatory process outweighs the Registrant’s right to practise in his chosen profession. 

 

Order

Order: The Registrar is directed to remove the name of Krastin Emanuilov Yaramboykov from the register on the date this order comes into effect.

Notes

No notes available

Hearing History

History of Hearings for Mr Krastin Emanuilov Yaramboykov

Date Panel Hearing type Outcomes / Status
25/06/2018 Conduct and Competence Committee Final Hearing Struck off