Miss Simone Warmington

: Social worker

: SW114020

: Review Hearing

Date and Time of hearing:10:00 06/11/2017 End: 12:30 06/11/2017

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

: Conduct and Competence Committee
: Conditions of Practice

Allegation

Allegations (Found Proved at GSCC Hearing 13 October 2010):

Whilst employed by Birmingham City Council (‘BCC’) in the Adoption and Fostering
Assessment Team, in which post you were employed between February 2008 and
June 2008 you;

(a) Did not inform your employer that you were undergoing assessment as a
prospective foster carer for Foster Care Associates (‘FCA’), thereby not allowing
your employer to consider whether this could create a conflict of interest;

(b) On 18 April 2008 attended training at FCA from 10.00 until 16.00 when you
should have been working for BCC;

(c) Recorded on the team signing out sheet that on 18 April 2008 you were visiting
the ‘E’ family;

(d) Recorded on the team signing out sheet that on 18 April 2008, after visiting the
‘E’ family, you were working from home;

(e) On 24 April 2008 attended FCA between 10.45 and 11.30;

2. In respect of allegation 1 (b) to 1 (e) you have behaved dishonestly.

3. Having tendered your resignation from your post with the Adoption and Fostering
Assessment Team and whilst you were aware that disciplinary investigation had
been instigated into your conduct, you;

(a) named Sonia Watts, Senior Practitioner on the Adoption and Fostering
Assessment Team, as a referee in respect of your employment with the
Adoption and Fostering Assessment Team in your application for an agency post;

(b) knowing that Sonia Watts had; (i) not been your line manager;

4. In respect of allegation 3 you have behave dishonestly.

5. During the summer of 2009, whilst you were aware that disciplinary action had
been instigated into your conduct at the Adoption and Fostering Assessment Team,
you;

(a) named Pauline Williams an administrative clerk in the Adoption and Fostering
Assessment Team, as a referee in respect of your employment with the Adoption
and Fostering Assessment Team, in your application for employment;

(b) knowing that Pauline Williams;

(i) had not been your line manager;

(ii) was unable to comment on your professional work as a registered social worker
in her reference for you;

6. In respect of allegation 5 you behaved dishonestly

7. During your assessment as a prospective foster carer for FCA in or around April
2008, you informed the assessor and panel that you had discussed your application
to be considered as a foster carer with your line manager when you had not done so;

8. In respect of this allegation you have behaved dishonestly.

9. Whilst employed as an agency worker and working at the Children, Young People
and Families, Duty and Assessment Team, Heart of Birmingham:

(d) forged the signature of your then manager, Avril Thacker, on a time sheet dated
12 May 2009;

(e) forged the signature of your then manager, Avril Thacker, on a time sheet dated
19 May 2009;

(f) in a meeting held on 24 May 2009 denied that you had been subject to any
disciplinary investigation whilst an employee of Birmingham City Council at the
Adoption and Fostering Team when you knew that this was untrue;

10. In respect of allegation 9 you have behaved dishonestly.

Finding

Background
1. This is the first review of a Conditions of Practice Order made by a Conduct and Competence Committee following a restoration hearing held on 29 March 2016.

2. The Registrant, who was registered as a Social Worker on 18 January 2008, was removed from the register following a hearing before the Conduct Committee of the General Social Care Council which took place on 11-14 October 2010 in which the Particulars as set out above were found proved.

3. The Registrant first applied to the HCPC for restoration to the Register on 29 November 2013 and her application was considered at a Restoration Hearing held on 11 July 2014. The panel on 11 July 2014 was not satisfied that the Registrant had proved on a balance of probabilities that she was then a fit and proper person to practise as a Social Worker and refused her application for restoration.

4. On 20 December 2015, the Registrant again applied for restoration to the Register. Her application was considered by a panel at a hearing on 29 March 2016. Having heard submissions from the HCPC, which remained neutral as to whether she should be restored to the Register, and having heard oral evidence from the Registrant, that panel decided that the Registrant had proved on a balance of probabilities that she was a fit and proper person to practice as a Social Worker.

5. However, the panel on 29 March 2016 also concluded that in order to ensure the safety of the Registrant’s practice, the maintenance of proper standards within the profession and public confidence both in the profession and the HCPC as its regulator, her restoration to the Register should be subject to a conditions of practice for a period of 12 months. The order came into effect on 14 December 2016, which is the date when the Registrant was actually restored to the Register following her successful completion of certain return to practice requirements. The Order is due to expire on 14 December 2017.

Decision
6. The Panel was presented with a core HCPC bundle consisting of 28 pages. The Panel also had a copy of an email sent on 29 August 2017 by a service user to the Registrant’s line manager containing positive comments about her. The Panel also had two reflective pieces from the Registrant, the first dated 10 July 2017 and the second which is undated but which appears to be more recent.

7. The Panel carefully considered the submissions made by Mr Demissie on behalf of the HCPC, the Registrant’s oral evidence and the submissions made on her behalf by Mr Warldock. The Panel received and accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor and had regard to the HCPTS Practice Note on ‘Restoration to the Register’.

8. The Panel considered that the Registrant had made significant efforts to engage in this process and to return to practice as a Social Worker. The Panel was impressed by the commitment shown by the Registrant and noted her reflections both in writing and in her oral evidence as to why she had behaved as she did in the past.

9. The Panel considered that the Registrant had been open and honest in her oral evidence and had demonstrated insight in that, in her dealings with colleagues and students, she has used her own experiences to highlight the importance of maintaining proper standards of behaviour.

10. In considering whether to allow the current Conditions of Practice Order to expire or to extend it for a further period, the Panel had careful regard to the reasons given by the previous panel for imposing conditions of practice upon restoration as set out above. Apart from the one testimonial from a service user, the Panel was not provided with any independent evidence as to the Registrant’s performance. No independent evidence was provided to demonstrate to the Panel that the Registrant had successfully embedded into her practice the learning she says she has developed into the importance of honesty and integrity. Further, no evidence was provided as to her ability to manage the many stresses of front line Social Work practice.

11. In all the circumstances, the Panel concluded that it was both necessary and proportionate to extend the current Conditions of Practice Order with varied conditions for a further period of 6 months. The Panel considered that this would strike a fair and proportionate balance between the interests of the Registrant in continuing and developing as a Social Worker, and the need to provide a necessary level of assurance to the HCPC as her regulator and to the public, that her return to practice is being properly managed.

12. A further review will be carried out before the expiry of the extended order. The Panel would encourage the Registrant to continue her engagement with this process.

Order

The Registrar is directed to extend the current Order for a further period of 6 months upon expiry and to annotate the Register to show that, for the extended period, the Registrant must comply with the following conditions of practice:

1.  You must place yourself and remain under the supervision of a supervisor registered by the HCPC or other appropriate statutory
regulator. You  must attend upon that Supervisor as required and follow their advice and recommendations.

2.   You must provide to the HCPC a report from your Supervisor by 28 February 2018 and also provide a second report at least 14 days prior to the review of this order which specifically deals with:
(i) Your performance in your role;
(ii) Your honesty and integrity;
(iii) Your ability to cope with the pressures of the role;
(iv) Your relationships with colleagues and service users.

3. You must promptly inform the HCPC of any disciplinary
proceedings taken against you by your employer.

4. You must inform the following parties that your registration is subject to these conditions:
A. any organisation or person employing or contracting with you
to undertake professional work;
B. any agency you are registered with or apply to be registered
with (at the time of application); and
C. any prospective employer (at the time of your application). 

Notes

The order imposed today will apply from 14 December 2017 date.

This order will be reviewed again before its expiry on 14 June 2018.

Hearing history

History of Hearings for Miss Simone Warmington

Date Panel Hearing type Outcomes / Status
06/11/2017 Conduct and Competence Committee Review Hearing Conditions of Practice