Eric Paul Forster (SW25039) has been struck off the HCPC Register on the grounds of conviction whilst registered as a social worker with the HCPC.
A panel of the HCPTS heard that Mr Forster was convicted at Durham Crown Court of four counts of sexual assault of a female child under 13 years, two counts of making indecent photographs of children and one count of possessing prohibited images of children.
The Panel further heard that Mr Forster had been the social worker for the mother of the victim of the sexual assaults and had maintained a relationship with the family, he was looked upon by the family as an ‘uncle figure’.
Panel Chair Khairun Butt commented:
“An essential part of the role of a social worker is to safeguard vulnerable individuals from abuse. Mr Forster has done the very opposite and has engaged in activities involving the sexual abuse of children. Accordingly the Panel has concluded that the only proportionate order is that of striking off.”
The Panel ordered for the name of Eric Paul Forster to be struck off the HCPC Register.
Mr Forster was neither present nor represented at the hearing.
Notes to editors
1. The Health and Care Professions Council is an independent regulator set up by the Health and Social Work Professions Order 2001. The HCPC keeps a register for 16 different health and care professions and only registers people who meet the standards it sets for their training, professional skills, behaviour and health. The HCPC will take action against professionals who do not meet these standards or who use a protected title illegally.
2. The Health and Care Professions Tribunal Service (HCPTS) is the fitness to practise adjudication service of the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). Although it is part of the HCPC, the distinct identity of the HCPTS seeks to emphasise that hearings are conducted and managed by independent Panels which are at arm's length from the HCPC. https://www.hcpts-uk.org/aboutus/roleofhcptribunalservice
3. Full details of this hearing will be posted online
4. See information about the HCPC’s fitness to practise proceedings
5. Anyone can contact us and raise a concern about a professional on our Register. This includes members of the public, employers, the police and other professionals. For more information visit www.hcpc-uk.org/complaints
6. The HCPC currently regulates the following 16 professions. Each of these professions has one or more ‘protected titles’. Anyone who uses one of these titles must register with the HCPC. Full list of protected titles
- Arts therapists
- Biomedical scientists
- Chiropodists / podiatrists
- Clinical scientists
- Hearing aid dispensers
- Occupational therapists
- Operating department practitioners
- Practitioner psychologists
- Prosthetists / orthotists
- Social workers in England
- Speech and language therapists
7. The HCPC regulates social workers in England. Social workers in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales are separately regulated by the relevant Care Council in that country.
8. Registrants can appeal the panel’s decision. Appeals are made directly to the High Court in England or Wales, the Court of Session in Scotland or the High Court of Justice in Northern Ireland. Appeals must be made within 28 days of when the Notice of Decision and Order is served. The Panel’s order does not take effect until the appeal period has expired or the appeal has concluded.