Mrs Noel Senyange Bournita

Profession: Social worker

Registration Number: 000000

Hearing Type: Restoration Hearing

Date and Time of hearing: 10:00 28/02/2019 End: 17:00 28/02/2019

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

Panel: Conduct and Competence Committee
Outcome: Restored

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Allegation

While employed by Medway Council as a Qualified Social Worker:

  1. On 19 April 2011 you pleaded guilty and were convicted at Bexley

Magistrates Court of two charges of dishonestly and with a view to

gain for yourself or another or with intent to cause loss to another,

made use of documents required for accounting purpose, namely

applications for Childcare Allowance which to your knowledge was or

might be misleading, false or deceptive in a material particular namely

that they purported to have been completed in part by Ms A and Ms B

whereas they had not and this was contrary to section 17 (1) (a) of the

Theft Act 1968.

  1. On 19 April 2011 you pleaded guilty and were convicted at Bextey

Magistrates Court of two charges of dishonestly and with a view to

gain for yourself or another or with intent to cause loss to another,

made use of documents required for accounting purpose, namely

receipts in respect of payments for childcare, which to your knowledge

was or might be misleading, false or deceptive in a material particular

namely that they purported to have been completed in part by Ms A

and Ms B whereas they had not and this was contrary to section 17 (1)

(a) of the Theft Act 1968.

  1. The above offences resulted in an overpayment of benefit to you of

£23,144.15.

  1. a) On or around 20 April 2011 you informed your employers that

your absence from work on 19 April 2011 was due to a family

emergency, when you were in fact attending court

b) You did not inform your employers that you had in fact been attending court in relation to the circumstances detailed at points 1 and 2

c) Your acts or omissions detailed above were:

  1. Misleading
  2. Dishonest

5. a) On or around 26 April 2011 you informed your employers that your absence on 26 April 2011 was due to problems with your car tyres;

   b) You did not inform your employers that you were in fact attending court for sentencing in relation to the circumstances detailed at points 1 and 2.

   c) Your acts or omissions detailed above were:

  1. Misleading;
  2. Dishonest.

And as a result of the above you have committed misconduct.

Finding

Background

1. On 19 March 2012, a Panel of the General Social Care Council [“GSCC”], found that the applicant was guilty of misconduct by virtue of having been convicted (having pleaded guilty), on 19 April 2011, of two counts of dishonesty, with a view to gain contrary to section 17(1)(a) of the Theft Act 1968 by making claims for Childcare allowance which resulted in an overpayment of benefit in the sum of £23,144.15.

2. The applicant had also lied to her employer on two occasions to cover up her absence from work whilst at Court by telling her employer that she had been absent due to a family emergency and had problems with her car tyres.

3. The GSCC panel, having found misconduct, decided that the appropriate sanction was removal from the register. The Registrant appealed against the sanction imposed and her appeal was dismissed by the First Tier Tribunal on 21 November 2012.

4. By letter dated 14 November 2018, the applicant applied to be restored to the Register. Accordingly, this hearing was convened for this Panel to consider the applicant’s application for restoration.

Decision on Application

5. The Panel heard submissions by Mr Brown who represented the applicant and from Ms Iskander, who represented the HCPC. The Panel also heard oral evidence, given on oath from the Applicant.

6. The Panel were provided with documentary evidence contained within the HCPC bundle including documents by the Applicant and viewed additional documents from the Applicant consisting of a written testimonial and a certificate of attendance at a Safeguarding Adults Workshop on 10 August 2018.

7. The Panel received and accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor who referred the Panel to the guidance set out in the HCPC practice note on restoration hearings. The Panel was mindful that the burden of proof rests on the Applicant to prove to the civil standard that she should be restored to the Register.

8. The Panel first considered the reasons why the applicant was removed from the Social Work Register in 2012. The Panel considered that the offences to which the Applicant pleaded guilty were serious offences involving dishonesty. The Panel also had regard to the fact that the Applicant had been sentenced to a period of imprisonment which was suspended.

9. The Panel next considered the steps taken by the Applicant, since being removed from the register, in particular any evidence of insight, remediation and rehabilitation.

10. The Panel considered that the Applicant’s criminal offence was a one off matter which has not been repeated. The Panel was satisfied that the Applicant has shown significant insight which, in the Panel’s view, was demonstrated by the Applicant during the course of her oral evidence.

11. The Panel had regard to the positive testimonial evidence provided on the Applicant’s behalf, which included a reference from the Area Manager of Kent County Council Disabled Children & Young People’s services. The Panel noted that the Applicant has been working for Kent County Council as a Social Work Assistant since September 2017. That Council is aware of the Applicant’s conviction, however was prepared to employ her. The reference describes that the applicant, “has embraced her opportunities with Kent County Council and has established good working relationships with young people and their families, is a valued member of the Team and has learned from her past experiences”.

12. The Applicant has demonstrated that, since being removed from the Register, she has completed a broad range of CPD activities and has maintained her professional skills and abilities required to be a registered Social Worker. Moreover, the Applicant was able to answer specific questions put to her by the Panel in relation to what she had learned from her abundant training activities and how service users would benefit as a result. The Panel also considered that there was clear evidence of the Applicant being able to apply what she has learned from supervision.

13. The Panel carefully considered the public interest and whether public confidence in the profession and in the HCPC would be undermined if the applicant was restored to the Register. The Panel considered that the Applicant has the potential to make a very positive contribution to the Social Work profession. The Panel also considered that a reasonable, well informed member of the public would not be concerned if the Applicant’s name is restored to the Register.

14. Taking all matters into consideration, the Panel was satisfied that the Applicant had proved to the required standard that she should be restored to the Register. Accordingly, the Panel granted the restoration application.

Order

ORDER:  The Registrar is directed to restore the name of Noel Senyange Bourmita to the Social Work Part of the Register, but restoration is only to take effect once the Applicant has:

(a) provided the Registrar with any information and declarations
required for admission to the Register;

(b) paid the prescribed restoration fee; and

(c) satisfied the Registrar that, in relation to the Applicant, there is or
will be in force appropriate cover under an indemnity arrangement and
 
(d) provided evidence which satisfies the Registrar that the Applicant
has successfully completed a 60 day period of professional
updating in accordance with the HCPC Standards for Return to
Practice.

Notes

No notes available

Hearing History

History of Hearings for Mrs Noel Senyange Bournita

Date Panel Hearing type Outcomes / Status
28/02/2019 Conduct and Competence Committee Restoration Hearing Restored