Children's social services, complaints of misconduct / intimidation

Sheila Hersom made this Freedom of Information request to Essex County Council

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The request was successful.

Dear Essex County Council,

I would like, under the Freedom of Information Act for information on action taken when a Children’s social worker who persistently fails in the following. Complaints to the GSCC and LGO have been exhausted. All have failed to acknowledge evidence, or take into account the law, what would the next steps be in the following questions?

1. Failing to follow public law, even when pointed out to them they are in breach of the law and some examples of their actions listed below.
a. Act beyond their powers.
b. Ignore relevant information.
c. Fail to undertake a sufficient enquiry.
d. Mislead professionals.
e. Clearly showing biasness towards one parent.
f. Not informing a parent what the case is against them.
g. Not taking into account evidence or factors which he or she was not aware of.
h. Not allowing the individual to put his or her case forward.
i. Not giving the individual the facilities to put his or her case forward.
j. Refusing to hear evidence that may have led to a different decision.
k. Denying access to relevant documents.
l. Holding a hearing in the absence of the individual when they had good reason for not being able to attend.
m. Changing the time / date / location of a hearing and failing to inform the individual or failing to notify the individual of the time and place of the hearing that would lead to the decision being taken.
n. Record keeping being grossly inaccurate, cheery picking evidence, falsifying evidence.
o. Social Workers attempt to cover up mistakes that they or other team members have made in the past.
p. Bullying or intimidating a service user with the removal of their children to remain silent on social services past mistakes, making complaints or highlighting any of the above.

2. Failing to follow the Children’s Act, even when pointed out to them they are in breach of the law and some examples of their actions listed below.
a. Failing to put the best interests of the child first.
b. Failing in the due of care towards a child.
c. Ignoring or showing no concerns of either imminent or future risk towards a child.
d. Ignoring professional advice or concerns.
e. Ignoring parents / family or friend’s advice or concerns

3. If a social worker or social services had, ignored professionals / service users and failed in their duty of care to a child and the risk came to light by another social services, would this be grounds to instigate a Serious Case Review. Would it be justified of social services or a social worker to carrying out any of the items listed in Q1 or Q2 against a service user to keep quiet?

4. What is the next course of action when LA have no concerns, refuse to satisfactory answer complaints, refuse to look at evidence.
5. What is the next course of action when GSCC have no concerns, refuse to satisfactory answer complaints, refuse to look at evidence.
6. What is the next course of action when LGO have no concerns, refuse to satisfactory answer complaints, refuse to look at evidence.
7. What action would be taken if LA refused to act on guidelines / policy / recommendations by OFSTED, LGO, GSCC.
8. What action would be taken if LA refused to act on guidelines / policy / recommendations by professionals?
9. Please can you supply statistics for the last 5 years where concerns or complaints have been raised on a social worker within your borough (either other staff or service users) for any of the above? Please supply information on any action taken, outcomes, no further action or passed to GSCC to investigate. Please give reasons why.
10. Have any of the social workers, over the last 5, years had two or more concerns or complaints made against them, as per Q6, from unrelated service users or staff. By this I mean the individuals that raised complaints were not related.
11. What course of action would be taken if a social worker refused to answer emails, or questions?
12. If all service users agreed, would the LA set up a support group for all service users who have had dealings with social services. i.e. give out leaflets to service users or inform them of support network meetings run by other service users. (Similar to Women’s Aid coffee mornings)
13. We acknowledge that GSCC is responsible for the conduct of a social worker, but have no authority over social services as a whole, therefore proving difficult to bring a case of misconduct over a particular social worker. Please can you tell us who is responsible for the conduct of social services?

Yours faithfully,

Sheila Hersom

Ruth Byford Research & Analysis Officer, Essex County Council

3 Attachments

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Your Right To Know, Essex County Council

13 Attachments

Please find attached the response to your Freedom of Information request.
 
Ruth Byford 
Research & Analysis Officer
Research & Analysis Unit, Strategic Services

Essex County Council | telephone: 01245 435944 | extension: 55944 | email:
[1][email address]  |  www.essex.gov.uk

EssexWorks
For a better quality of life

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Dear Ruth Byford Research & Analysis Officer,

Thank you for your response, i have sent the same request to Basildon Council however they have stated that you are solely responsible for their childrens services, please can you confirm this

Yours sincerely,

Sheila Hersom

Ruth Byford Research & Analysis Officer, Essex County Council

I will be back in the office on Monday 13th February and will respond to
your email then.

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Your Right To Know, Essex County Council

Ms Hersom,

I can confirm that Essex County Council are responsible for providing
childrens social care services in the Basildon Council area.

Ruth Byford
on behalf of ISIS
Internal Audit & Risk Management
Essex County Council | telephone: 01245 435944 | extension: 55944 |
email: [email address]

EssexWorks
For a better quality of life

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