Ms Yasmin Jeelani

Profession: Social worker

Registration Number: SW79711

Hearing Type: Restoration

Date and Time of hearing: 09:00 17/09/2018 End: 16:00 17/09/2018

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

Panel: Conduct and Competence Committee
Outcome: Restored

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Allegation

As found proved at the substantive hearing which took place on 13-14 May 2013.

1. Your professional practice was unsatisfactory in that on a number of occasions you displayed inadequacies in regard to:

a. Case planning,

b. Risk assessment and analysis; and/or

c. Use of safeguarding information.

2. While seconded to the London Early Intervention Service (EIS) for 11 weeks from October 2011 your practice was deficient, in that:

a. Your safeguarding and assessment skills were inconsistent;

b. You did not display the required levels of analysis;

c. Your time management and case planning skills were lacking, with the result that in several of your cases only limited enquiries had been made;

d. Of 59 cases allocated to you only 34 had Schedule 2 letters;

e. 22 of your allocated cases were not completed;

f. 4 of your allocated cases were not properly followed up;

g. In respect of 5 of your allocated cases Schedule 2 letters had to be completed by the duty team;

h. In respect of 2 of your allocated cases Section 47 referrals were not followed up; and/or

i. You submitted 4 cases for quality assurance without allowing enough time to be able to make any necessary amendments before the cases were due for filing.

3. The matters set out in paragraphs 1 and 2 amount to misconduct and/or lack of competence.

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

Finding

Preliminary Matters

1. Ms Simpson invited the Panel to treat the application as an application for restoration to the HCPC Register pursuant to Article 33 of the Health and Social Work Professions Order 2001, albeit that the Applicant had not been removed from the Register as a result of a Striking Off Order but on the basis of a Voluntary Removal Agreement.

Proceeding in private

2. Ms Jeelani (“the Applicant”) made an application for any part of the hearing which related to her private life to take place in private. Ms Simpson, on behalf of the HCPC, supported that application. The Panel accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor and granted the application for relevant parts of the hearing to take place in private.

Background

3. The Applicant was employed by Cafcass in May 2004 as a full time Family Court Advisor. Concerns were first raised about her performance in September 2009 when she was issued with an action plan. The key concerns regarding her ability were safeguarding and risk analysis. She was performance managed and offered support.

4. Audits were undertaken of her work, which continued to highlight concerns. Throughout this period the Applicant took significant periods of sick leave and annual leave, which impacted on her progress. She was suspended from duty on 14 June 2011 as a result of concerns raised during an internal inspection. A formal capability hearing took place on 24 August 2011, the outcome of which was that the Applicant was given a final written warning and arrangements were made for her to be seconded to the Early Intervention Service (EIS) for three months from October to December 2011.

5. The outcome of the secondment was that, despite support and adjustment, her practice was not satisfactory. At a formal performance hearing on 13 January 2012, the Applicant was dismissed from Cafcass.

6. The Panel at the substantive hearing on 13-15 May 2013 found the facts proved by reason of the Applicant’s admissions and the evidence presented to it. It further found that those matters amounted to a lack of competence on the part of the Applicant, but not misconduct.

7. The Panel at the substantive hearing imposed a Conditions of Practice Order in the following terms:

(1) You must inform the following parties that your registration is subject to these conditions, namely, any organisation or person employing you or contracting with you to undertake professional work; any agency you are registered with (at the time of application) and any prospective employer (at the time of your application)

(2) You must inform the HCPC within 14 days of the Operative date of your taking up or terminating any employment which requires your registration as a social worker,

(3) 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 to the HCPC of your supervisor within 28 days of the Operative date.

(4) You must undergo such period of supervision and training as is required by your employer to confirm that you are competent to undertake risk assessment and within 28 days of completion of such supervision and training to provide written confirmation thereof to the HCPC

8. At the first review hearing on 8 May 2014, that panel heard evidence that the Applicant was unable to comply with the conditions which had been imposed. She had been unable to secure any form of employment, despite making some 76 applications. She had been told that potential employers would not provide the level of supervision and training which the conditions required. The Applicant told the Panel that the conditions were having an effect on her both financially and personally and indicated that, if the conditions could not be varied to allow her to obtain employment, she would prefer to have her name voluntarily removed from the Register.

9. The panel at the review hearing concluded that the Applicant’s fitness to practise remained impaired and that the lack of competence identified posed a risk to the safety of service users and undermined the reputation of and the public trust in the profession. The panel was not satisfied that the Applicant had demonstrated insight into the impact of her actions on service users.

10. The panel at the review hearing considered whether the conditions imposed could be varied to allow the Applicant to find work and to allow her to address the deficiencies in her practice which had been identified. However, the Applicant was unable to suggest any practical alternative as to how her deficiencies might be addressed, and took the view that the practical effect of the conditions was suspension by another name. The review panel concluded that the conditions were unworkable and that the only order available to it, which was proportionate in the circumstances, was one of suspension for a period of 12 months.

11. The Applicant thereafter sent two emails to the HCPC. On 9 May 2014 she formally requested that her name be withdrawn from the HCPC Register with immediate effect. On 1 June 2014, the Applicant indicated that she had read all the relevant documents and wanted to withdraw voluntarily from the Register.

12. On 5 September 2014, a panel of the Conduct and Competence Committee revoked the Suspension Order and granted the application for the Applicant’s voluntary removal from the Register.

Decision

13. At the hearing today, the Applicant gave evidence to the Panel and provided a bundle of documents which included: a personal statement by her, dated 29 August 2018; job descriptions for posts which she had held since 2015; training courses which she had undertaken; and recent employment testimonials.

14. The Panel accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor.

15. The Panel had regard to the HCPTS Practice Note on “Restoration to the Register”. It understood that it was for the Applicant to provide evidence to satisfy the Panel that she meets the general requirements of registration, and is a “fit and proper person” to practise in the profession. It also had regard to the HCPC guidance on “Returning to Practice”.

16. In respect of the original matters at the substantive hearing before the Conduct and Competence Committee on 13-15 May 2013, the Panel noted that the findings amounted to lack of competence rather than misconduct. The Panel at that hearing found that the Applicant’s lack of competence was remediable and imposed a Conditions of Practice Order for a period of 12 months.

17. At the first review of the Conditions of Practice Order, the Panel imposed a Suspension Order for 12 months because it came to the conclusion that the conditions previously imposed were so restrictive as to be tantamount to a Suspension Order. However, the Panel on that occasion invited the Applicant to provide evidence of insight into her past failings and self-directed training designed and targeted at reaching the standard of competence required, as set out in the HCPC Standards of Proficiency for Social Workers.

18. The Panel today was impressed by the Applicant’s oral evidence. She explained the circumstances in her private life which had given rise to her failures in her practice as a Social Worker at the relevant time. The Panel was satisfied that the reason the Applicant entered into an Agreement for Voluntary Removal in August 2014 was not to avoid a Striking Off Order but rather because, in her own words, she had “reached the end of her tether” and needed time out to address the pressures in her personal life before attempting to address the failure to perform to an acceptable standard at work.

19. The Panel accepted the Applicant’s evidence that the very specific problems in her personal life and circumstances had since been resolved and would no longer have a negative impact on her performance at work.

20. The Applicant explained in detail the efforts which she had made since 2015 to remediate her practice. She had taken considered and systematic steps to rehabilitate herself professionally by undertaking related work as a Family Support Worker, which made use of her past knowledge and experience as a Social Worker. She gave compelling examples of how she would address potential problems in relation to access and mobility. She explained how she had adopted effective strategies for coping with her health in order to ensure that her record-keeping was to the required standard. The recent employment testimonials provided by the Applicant confirmed that she is currently working to a good standard, and is well regarded by her current employer and a Team Manager within a Local Authority who has liaised with her in relation to safeguarding matters.

21. The Applicant impressed the Panel by her dedication and commitment to Social Work and her determination to practise to a safe and effective standard.

22. The Panel concluded that the Applicant met the general requirements of a Social Worker and is a fit and proper person to be restored to the register.

23. In all the circumstances, the Panel has decided to grant the application to restore the Applicant to the Social Work part of the HCPC Register. Her return to practice will be subject to the Registrar being satisfied that she has successfully completed the professional updating in accordance with the HCPC “Returning to Practice” booklet.

 

Order

The Registrar is directed to restore Yasmin Jeelani (the Applicant) to the Social Work Part of the Register, but such restoration shall only take effect upon the Applicant paying the prescribed restoration fee and providing evidence which satisfies the Registrar that the Applicant has successfully completed the return to practice requirements in accordance with the HCPC standards for Returning to Practice.

Notes

No notes available

Hearing History

History of Hearings for Ms Yasmin Jeelani

Date Panel Hearing type Outcomes / Status
17/09/2018 Conduct and Competence Committee Restoration Restored
05/09/2014 Conduct and Competence Committee Review Hearing Voluntary Removal agreed