Jeanette Reeve

: Social worker

: SW59166

: Review Hearing

Date and Time of hearing:12:30 15/10/2015 End: 14:00 15/10/2015

: Health and Care Professions Council, Park House, 184 Kennington Park Road, London, SE11 4BU

: Conduct and Competence Committee
: Suspended

Allegation

During the course of your employment as a Social Worker with Nottinghamshire County Council between June 2003 and November 2011, you:

1. Did not recognise risk, which placed service users at risk of harm;

2. Did not carry out timely Section 47 (child protection) enquiries;

3. Did not keep child protection records up to date;

4. Did not attend scheduled child protection meetings;

5. Did not follow up concerns raised by a school about service users' welfare;

6. not proved

7. Did not provide minutes of child protection meetings to families;

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

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

 

The Panel at the substantive hearing on 15 – 17 October 2013 found particulars 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 (in respect of one school) & 7 proved. Particular 6 was not found proved.

 

The Panel found the proved particulars amounted to misconduct and found the Registrant’s fitness to practise impaired.

 

Finding

Preliminary Matters

Proceeding in private

1.     The Panel granted an unopposed application by Mr Byrne to hear evidence in private that related to the Registrant’s health and the health of other people, in accordance with the provisions of Rule 10 (1)(a) of the Conduct and Competence Committee Rules (the Rules). As such, this is a redacted public copy of the private decision.

 

Background

2.     The Registrant started work as a Social Worker with Nottinghamshire County Council (NCC) in 2003. There were concerns about her practice and, consequently, an audit of her cases was undertaken in October 2009 and a number of issues of concern were identified.

 

3.     The Registrant had a prolonged period of absence from December 2009 until June 2010. In October 2010, it was recognised that the Registrant needed support to improve her practice and an Advanced Social Work Practitioner was assigned to mentor her.

 

4.     A further audit was carried out in October 2010 which indicated a lack of documentary evidence to show that the Registrant had progressed plans. It also found there were failures by her to visit service users, that she demonstrated a lack of understanding about issues of concern and that she had failed to keep agencies updated with relevant information. She was dismissed from her employment, following a disciplinary procedure, on 30 May 2012.

 

5.     Since 27 October 2014, in accordance with the recommendations of the last panel, the Registrant has provided a “piece on reflective practice” dated 13 October 2015. She has also provided the Panel with certificates and other documentation in relation to recent training for the voluntary work she is currently undertaking.

 

Decision

6.     The Panel heard the submissions of Mr Byrne, who did not specifically recommend a particular course of action today but suggested that, if the Panel’s view was that the imposition of a Conditions of Practice order was appropriate, then attention should be given to addressing questions of training and supervision. This, of course, would only be a matter for the Panel’s consideration if it was to find that the Registrant’s fitness to practise was still impaired.

7.     The Registrant gave evidence on oath. Amongst other matters, she acknowledged that, towards the end of her time as a Social Worker for Nottinghamshire County Council, her work was not up to the required standard. In wholeheartedly recognising her mistakes, she admitted that she had put children at risk.  She had been struggling, she added, with a number of issues and realised now that she should have asked for support from colleagues at work. She made reference to her own health.  She told the Panel she is keen to return to child protection social work, emphasising that she is now in a position to prioritise matters properly. In recognition of the fact that she has not worked as a social worker since 2012, she fully appreciates that, were she be permitted to practise again, she would require appropriate training and supervision by a senior social worker.

8.     Having listened with great care to what the Registrant said in her evidence, the Panel is in no doubt that her fitness to practise remains impaired. Her proved failings were serious and undoubtedly put children with whom she was working at risk. Although there are signs now of some insight, the Panel is not persuaded that it would be appropriate to permit her to return to unrestricted practice.

9.     The Panel is well aware that the primary function of any sanction is to address public safety from the perspective of the risk the Registrant may pose to those using her services in future. In reaching its decision, the Panel must also give appropriate weight to the wider public interest considerations, which include the reputation of the profession and public confidence in the regulatory process. The Panel has considered the sanctions available to it in ascending order of severity and had regard to the HCPC’s “Indicative Sanctions Policy”.

 

10.   The Panel started by considering the imposition of a Conditions of Practice Order. The Panel does not consider that the Registrant has fully appreciated what it was that the previous panel recommended that she should do. Her piece on reflective practice did not go to the heart of things. It was too generalised and failed to address the particular concerns identified by earlier panels. It failed to convince the Panel that the Registrant had reflected appropriately or specifically on the reasons for her failings.

 

11.   Some progress has been made but, in the Panel’s view, not enough, particularly with regard to her reflections on safeguarding. For instance, the Registrant gave an example of a 12-year-old girl with learning difficulties but failed to apply fundamental safeguarding principles or any demonstration of lessons learnt from the allegations found proved. In all the circumstances, the Panel has concluded that a Conditions of Practice Order would not be appropriate as it would not address properly the questions of service user safety and the wider public interest.

 

12.   On the other hand, an extension of the current Suspension Order for 12 months would be appropriate and proportionate. In so determining, the Panel considers that a future panel may be assisted by written evidence that the Registrant has fully reflected upon the specific failings identified by the panel detailed in its decision of 17 October 2013 and would be able to apply such lessons learnt.

Order

The Registrar is directed to suspend the registration of Mrs Jeanette Reeve for a further period of 12 months on the expiry of the existing order.

 

The order imposed today will apply from 14 November 2015.

This order will be reviewed again before its expiry on 14 November 2016.

 

Notes

No notes available

Hearing history

History of Hearings for Jeanette Reeve

Date Panel Hearing type Outcomes / Status
16/10/2017 Conduct and Competence Committee Review Hearing Conditions of Practice
14/10/2016 Conduct and Competence Committee Review Hearing Conditions of Practice
15/10/2015 Conduct and Competence Committee Review Hearing Suspended
27/10/2014 Conduct and Competence Committee Review Hearing Suspended
15/10/2013 Conduct and Competence Committee Final Hearing Suspended