Ms Sayra Bibi

Profession: Social worker

Registration Number: SW68739

Hearing Type: Review Hearing

Date and Time of hearing: 12:00 13/09/2018 End: 16:00 13/09/2018

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

Panel: Conduct and Competence Committee
Outcome: Conditions of Practice

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Allegation

During your employment as a Social Worker for the NSPCC:

1. In relation to Case A, during a home visit on 8 February 2016:

a) the child disclosed information which raised safeguarding concerns but you did not:

i. Inform your line manager in a timely manner;

ii. Make a referral to the Local Authority.

b) You did not discuss the mother’s whereabouts with the father

c) You did not raise concerns about the father leaving for work during the visit and leaving the child alone with you;

d) You left the child home alone at the end of the visit

e) You did not make a record of the visit in a timely manner

2. In relation to Case B:

a) You did not adequately assess the risk and/or safeguarding concerns relating to the family in that you did not;

i. discuss this safeguarding concern with your line manager;

ii. did not make the local authority aware of the safeguarding concern. 

b) You did not complete the Evidence Based Decision assessment

c) During your session on 9 February 2016, Child B1 disclosed her brother sometimes strangled her and you did not:

i. Explore this further with the child

ii. advise her what to do if she feels unsafe

iii. Inform your line manager of this safeguarding issue

iv. Make a safeguarding referral to the Local Authority

d) You did not produce a report for the Review Child Protection Conference of 2 November 2015

e) On 23 September 2015 when the door was not answered during an attempted home visit, you did not adequately investigate whether the sound of a baby crying was coming from the house

f) You did not progress the case in a timely manner

g) You did not complete the case notes for the following sessions/visits in a timely manner:

i. 7 October 2015;

ii. 2 February 2016;

iii. 9 February 2016.

3. In relation to Case C: 

a) You did not ensure the young person was seen in a timely manner, in that you did not meet the young person until 20 October 2015

b) you did not make adequate arrangements for your period of annual leave in that:

i. you did not communicate to the young person that you would not be available for visits due to your period of annual leave;

ii. you did not communicate to the foster carers of the young person that you would not be visiting due to being on annual leave;

iii. you did not arrange to visit Case C immediately after your return to work.

c) You did not complete the 6 week risk assessment in timely manner

d) During your session on 9 February 2016 the young person disclosed she had a new boyfriend but you did not explore and/or adequately risk assess this information

e) In relation to your session on 12 January 2016, you:

i. told the young person that it was “as much her session as mine” or words to that effect;

ii. recorded the following inappropriate and/or judgemental comment in the case notes: “got two cakes for [the young person] which she ate without offering me any considering I had bought them for her”.

f) Following a referral to the Local Authority on 22 December 2015 in relation to concerns about contact arrangements for the young person over Christmas:

i. you did not inform your line manager of this;

ii. you did not make further enquiries with the Local Authority about the arrangements for contact.

g) In relation to your session of 30 November 2015 you made inappropriate verbal and/or written comments in that you:

i. Stated you “found it hard to believe” she was not interested in boys, or words to that effect;

ii. Asked “what was the online scenario about if you said you’re not interested [in boys]” or words to that effect;

iii. recorded the following comments in the case notes:

(i) “She didn’t make any eye contact when talking about this incident and looked closed off so I didn’t pursue in asking her questions”
(ii) “I thought this session would be easier”
(iii) “this strikes me as quite odd as usually teenagers want to have friends their age or older finding younger children annoying”

h) You did not complete the case notes for the following sessions/visits in a timely manner:

i. 30 November 2015

ii. 12 January 2016

iii. 9 February 2016

4. In relation to your visit of 29 May 2015 to Case D, you recorded that “[the mother’s] laughing was inappropriate”

5. Your conduct in paragraph 4 was not appropriate in light of the mother’s mental health.

6. You did not close the following cases in a timely manner:

a) Case E

b) Case F

c) Case G

7. The matters as described in paragraphs 1 - 6 constitute misconduct and/or lack of competence.

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

 

Finding

Preliminary Matters


Service
1. The Registrant was present by telephone. The Registrant was not represented. No issue was taken as to proper service of the notice of hearing or the case papers.


Background
2. The Registrant is a registered social worker. At the relevant time, the Registrant was employed by the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (‘NSPCC’) as a Children’s Services Practitioner and was assigned to several services that were offered to children and young people. Around October 2015, concerns arose regarding the
Registrant’s productivity specifically, that she was not completing work to the required standard or agreed deadlines. In addition, comments made by the Registrant about her allocated families raised some concerns relating to the Registrant’s understanding of the children and families that she was working with.


3. In February 2016, a formal investigation into the Registrant’s practice was opened after a voicemail was left on the Team answering machine thought to be in relation to the Child A. The Registrant had been due to visit Child A. However, the case record showed no indication as to
whether the visit had taken place. The formal investigation concentrated not only on this specific incident but the Registrant’s wider practice.


Decision
4. The Conduct and Competence Committee Panel found, after a three day hearing in October 2017, which Ms Bibi attended via telephone and in person, the following;

• The Panel heard oral evidence from two witnesses called on
behalf of the HCPC, witness MM, the Service Manager for the
NSPCC who acted as the investigating officer concerning the
Registrant and witness CA, who at the time was the Registrant’s team manager.
• The Panel found that both HCPC witnesses were credible and consistent and were not motivated by any ill-feeling towards the Registrant and their evidence was balanced and measured. Both witnesses were prepared to make concessions in the Registrant’s favour when it was appropriate to do so.
• The Panel was provided with a Final Hearing Bundle which
included the witness statements of the HCPC witnesses and an Exhibits bundle. The Panel was also provided with written
representations from the Registrant consisting of an email from her to the HCPC dated 20 October 2016 and accompanying statement.
• Having carefully considered all of the evidence in the round, the Panel was not satisfied that all of the Particulars which had been admitted by the Registrant had been proved. Taking into account the Registrant’s admissions and the other evidence in the case, the Panel found the following Particulars of the Allegation proved:

Particular 1 in its entirety;

Particular 2 (b) and (c) (i)-(iv);
(d),(f), (g) (i) – (iii);

Particular 3 (a) and (b) (i) – (iii), (c), (e) (i)-(ii),
f(i), (g) (i) – (iii), (h) (i) – (iii);

Particular 4;

Particular 6 (a) – (c).


Before finding Particulars 3 (a) and (b) proved, the Panel had
regard to the Registrant’s written submissions in which she
stated that she did speak with the young person involved.
However, the Panel regarded this submission as inconsistent
with the Registrant’s admissions and the other evidence which it preferred.
• In relation to the matters found not proved: Particular 2 (a) (i) and (ii), the Panel considered that these matters were included within Particular 2 (b) which was proved. In relation to Particular 2(e), the Panel considered the Registrant’s actions to be adequate, although she could have taken further steps. The Child’s social worker, the lead professional, was present and had made further enquiries to determine the situation. In relation to Particular 3(d),
the Panel had regard to the case notes and considered that the Registrant had made some efforts to explore and /or adequately risk assess that information. In relation to Particular 2 (f)(ii), Witness 2’s evidence was that the Registrant was asked to challenge the Local Authority rather than make further enquiries with it. In relation to Particular 5, the Panel was provided with insufficient evidence as to the mother’s alleged adverse mental health in order to make a judgment that the Registrant’s conduct was inappropriate.


5. That Panel went on to find in its decision on impairment that the Registrant had caused unwarranted risk of harm to young and vulnerable Service Users. It also found wider public interest considerations, namely the need to declare and uphold proper standards of conduct and behaviour and to maintain confidence in the reputation of the profession.


6. That Panel imposed a Suspension Order for a period of 10 months. That Panel noted that the reviewing Panel would be assisted by evidence of up to date Continuous Professional Development; evidence of insight and testimonial evidence.


7. The Registrant gave evidence to the Panel today via telephone link. She highlighted her learning log and her reflective statement as well as the reference from her current employer. She pointed out her particular personal circumstances at the time of her engagement with Service
Users A and B. She stated that she would do things  differently in the future. She acknowledged her need for supervision. She asked the Panel to note her commitment to the social work profession.


8. Ms Senior submitted that the Registrant’s fitness to practise may still be impaired because she had not explicitly addressed issues of safeguarding and risk assessment.


9. The Panel heard and accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor.


Panel’s Decision
10.The Panel first considered whether the Registrant’s fitness to practise is impaired. It noted that the Registrant continues to engage positively with the HCPC and that she has tried to fulfil the expectations identified by the previous Panel by provision of her reflective statement and attached documentary evidence. The Panel commends her for her
engagement and for her commitment to learning. Nevertheless, the Panel is satisfied that the Registrant is still yet to fully demonstrate her remediation in particular around the areas of safeguarding and risk assessment identified in the original decision.


11.The Panel noted the acknowledgment made by the Registrant that she would require supervision were she to return to work as a Social Worker as she had not worked in this role since 2016. The Panel is satisfied that the Registrant has demonstrated some insight but she still needs to be able to demonstrate how she would identify and manage issues
around safeguarding and risk assessment. In the absence of any explicit information in this regard, the Panel is satisfied that there remains a risk to Service Users and that the Registrant’s fitness to practise is currently impaired.


Sanction
12. The Panel was mindful that the purpose of any sanction was not to punish the Registrant but to protect the public and to maintain confidence in the profession by the maintenance of proper standards of conduct and behaviour.


13.The Panel had regard to the Indicative Sanctions Policy. The Panel applied the principle of proportionality by weighing the Registrant’s interest with the public interest.


14.In light of the efforts made by the Registrant, the Panel determined that the appropriate sanction should be a Conditions of Practice Order for a period of 12 months. The following conditions would allow the Registrant to resume practice, albeit under conditions that would enable her to consolidate and develop her learning, thereby mitigating any
ongoing risks.

 

Order

The Registrar is directed to annotate the HCPC Register to show that, for a period of 12 months from the date that this Order takes effect, you, Ms Sayra Bibi, must comply with the following conditions of practice:


1. Education and training requirements
A. Within 28 days of starting work as a Social Worker you must:
i. satisfactorily complete training (which may be online) in
risk assessment and safeguarding, and
ii. forward a copy of your certificates to the HCPC.

2. Supervision requirements
A. You must place yourself and remain under the supervision of a workplace supervisor, registered by the HCPC or other
appropriate statutory regulator and supply details of your
supervisor to the HCPC within 28 days of starting work as a
Social Worker. You must attend upon that supervisor as
required and follow their advice and recommendations.


3. Informing the HCPC and others
A. You must promptly inform the HCPC if you cease to be
employed by your current employer or take up any other or
further employment.
B. You must promptly inform the HCPC of any disciplinary
proceedings taken against you by your employer.
C. You must inform the following parties that your registration is subject to these conditions:
i. any organisation or person employing or contracting with
you to undertake professional work;
ii. any agency you are registered with or apply to be registered
with (at the time of application); and
iii. any prospective employer (at the time of your application).


4. Personal development
A. You must work with your workplace supervisor to formulate a Personal Development Plan designed to address the deficiencies in areas of your practice, namely, the identification and assessment of risk.
B. Within three months of starting work as a Social Worker, you must forward a copy of your Personal Development Plan to the HCPC.
C. You must meet with your workplace supervisor on a monthly basis to consider your progress towards achieving the aims set out in your Personal Development Plan.
D. You must allow your workplace supervisor to provide
information to the HCPC about your progress towards achieving the aims set out in your Personal Development Plan.
E. You must prepare a reflective piece to be submitted 28 days before the next review hearing providing evidence of your ability to identify and assess risk.

Notes

No notes available

Hearing History

History of Hearings for Ms Sayra Bibi

Date Panel Hearing type Outcomes / Status
13/09/2018 Conduct and Competence Committee Review Hearing Conditions of Practice
17/10/2017 Conduct and Competence Committee Final Hearing Suspended