Mr Deljinder Singh Powar

: Social worker

: SW32032

: Review Hearing

Date and Time of hearing:13:00 27/01/2017 End: 17:00 27/01/2017

: Health and Care Professions Council, 405 Kennington Road, London, SE11 4PT

: Conduct and Competence Committee
: Conditions of Practice

Allegation

Whilst practising as a registered Social Worker with Kent County Council between 2007 and September 2012:

As Team Leader in the Tunbridge and Malling DIAT;

1)    In relation to Child 1, you;

 

a)    did not identify that the core assessments undertaken on 15 April 2010 and 10 June 2010 were inadequate;

b)    on 30 June 2010 endorsed a decision that Child 1 did not meet the criteria for services as a child in need and closed the case;

c)    not proved;

d)    not proved;

e)    did not ensure that strategy meetings were recorded;

f)     not proved.

 

2)    In relation to Child 2, you;

 

a)    did not ensure that a strategy meeting was convened following a referral received in August 2010;

b)    not proved;

c)    not proved.

 

3)    In relation to Child 12, you;

 

a)    not proved;

b)    not proved;

c)    not proved;

d)    not proved;

e)    not proved.

 

4)    In relation to Child 21, you;

 

a)    did not ensure that an initial strategy meeting was held;

b)    did not ensure that agency checks were completed;

c)    not proved;

d)    not proved.

 

5)    In relation to Child 33, you;

 

a)    not proved;

b)    not proved;

c)    not proved;

d)    not proved.

 

6)    In relation to Child 48, you;

 

a)    not proved;

b)    not proved.

During your secondment to the role of Independent Reviewing Officer;

7)    Between April 2012 and September:

 

a)    you did not complete writing up the minutes, decisions and recommendations from the Looked After Child Reviews within the required time-scales; and

 

b)    you did not ensure that you completed your backlog of:

i)      not proved;

ii)     not proved;

iii)    not proved;

iv)   74 sets of LAC review minutes which you were responsible for completing.

 

8. The matters set out in paragraphs 1 – 5 constitute misconduct and / or lack of competence;

 

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

Finding

Background:

1.The Registrant, Deljinder Singh Powar is a registered Social Worker who was first employed as a social worker by Kent County Council (the Council) from 1 October 1998. Thereafter, he progressed and was promoted, becoming a Team Leader in the Duty Intervention and Assessment Team [DIAT] in 2007.   On 2 April 2012, the Registrant was seconded to an Independent Reviewing Officer Post (IRO) with the Independent Reviewing Service where he stayed until 3 September 2012.   The secondment was made following concerns raised about the Registrant’s performance as a Team Leader. 
 
2. Further concerns arose during the Registrant’s secondment in relation to record-keeping failures concerning Looked After Children Reviews.   These led to an internal investigation which covered both the Registrant’s work whilst on secondment and during his period as a Team Leader in DIAT.  The investigation resulted in disciplinary proceedings.
 
3. Concerns were referred by the Council to the HCPC and an allegation was heard by a Conduct and Competence Committee Panel in January 2016.   That Panel found a number of particulars of the Allegation proved and that the Registrant’s fitness to practice was impaired by reason of his misconduct in relation only to particulars 7a and 7 b iv of the Allegation and imposed a Conditions of Practice Order for a period of 12 months.


Decision:

4. In reaching its decision, the Panel has taken account of the HCPC’s Practice Note “Finding that Fitness to Practise is Impaired”.   It received and accepted legal advice.   It has considered all the information put before it including the determination of the original Panel, the submissions of Mr Doyle for the Council and the oral evidence which it has heard from the Registrant.
 
5. The Panel noted that the purpose of a review hearing was to assess current fitness to practise.   It concluded that there had been little if any change since the original Panel had determined that the Registrant’s fitness to practice was impaired.
 
6. In his evidence under oath, the Registrant informed the Panel that he has been unable to secure employment in the period since the original hearing in either qualified or unqualified social work positions.   He told the Panel that it was his belief that this was because of the conditions imposed on his registration.   He gave two examples of being turned down by prospective employers and also said that he had unsuccessfully applied for over fifty positions.   However, the Panel was concerned that the Registrant had not supported the information he provided orally to the Panel with any documentary evidence.  He also outlined what he intended to do in the future in terms of keeping his skills and knowledge up to date by undertaking courses that address the issues outlined in his Conditions of Practice Order. The Panel decided that he had not yet satisfactorily evidenced any steps to address the concerns identified by the original Panel and so there was still a risk to others were he to be permitted to return to unrestricted practice.

7. The Panel also concluded that public confidence in the Social Work profession would be undermined if no finding of fitness to practice was made in this case where the deficiencies highlighted by the original Panel and addressed in the Conditions of Practice had not yet been remedied. 

8. In those circumstances, the Panel determined that the Registrant’s fitness to practise remained impaired.

9. In assessing what is the appropriate outcome of this review hearing, the Panel has taken into account the HCPC’s Indicative Sanctions Policy.   It has borne in mind that the purpose of any sanction is to protect the public and not to punish the Registrant.   It has considered the available sanctions, starting with the least severe and has had in mind that any sanction imposed today must be a proportionate one.

10. The Panel decided that, in light of the misconduct found in this case that it was too serious for there to be either no order or a Caution Order and that Mediation is inappropriate in the circumstances.

11. The Panel has concluded that a further Conditions of Practice Order for 12 months is the appropriate and proportionate sanction in this case.   The Registrant still has some way to go to gain full insight into his shortcomings and to remedy these.   The Panel decided the terms of the conditions imposed remained appropriate, were largely standard conditions and were reasonable, workable and measurable.

12. The Panel decided that a Suspension Order in this case would be unduly harsh and disproportionate at this stage whilst there is still every prospect that the Registrant can demonstrate that he has remedied his failings.

13. The order imposed today will be reviewed before it expires. The Panel was of the view that the next reviewing   Panel would be assisted by written evidence of the following :
• Documentary evidence of completion of CPD
• Documentary evidence of completion of any other courses, in particular any course or activity relevant to the   deficiencies identified in Condition 6
• References in support from any employer(s) not necessarily in a social work context
• Any testimonials or other documentary evidence which the Registrant considers relevant
• A reflective account of how the Registrant now views his previous conduct and why he believes he has now   remediated it.

14. The Registrant’s attention is drawn to the need for him to consider HCPC’s Return to Practise guidance.

Order

The Registrar is directed to extend the Conditions of Practice Order on the registration of Deljinder Singh Powar for a further period of 12 months.

Notes

The order imposed today will apply from 25 February 2017.

This order will be reviewed again before its expiry on 24 February 2018

Hearing history

History of Hearings for Mr Deljinder Singh Powar

Date Panel Hearing type Outcomes / Status
24/01/2018 Conduct and Competence Committee Review Hearing Hearing has not yet been held
27/01/2017 Conduct and Competence Committee Review Hearing Conditions of Practice
20/01/2016 Conduct and Competence Committee Final Hearing Conditions of Practice