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Name:

David James Brown

Registration number:
W/2010862
Date:
25/06/2021 -
Social Worker
Removal by Agreement
N/A
Cardiff Council
N/A

Removal by Agreement

Removal by Agreement means that through this process, a registered person can apply to be removed from the Register without being referred to a Panel.

The decision to agree to the application is made at a Case Conference. A registered person can apply for this at any stage in the fitness to practise process.

Applying for removal by agreement does not mean that a registered person has the right to be removed, but it enables Social Care Wales to agree to removal in an appropriate case.

The decision whether to agree the application is made taking into account whether the allegation involves exceptional public interest issues

Statement of Agreed Facts

Introduction

  • Mr David James Brown ('Mr Brown') registered with Social Care Wales (SCW) as a Qualified Social Worker on 16 April 2019. He had previously been registered with SCW between 10 December 2008 and 22 September 2010.
  • Between 21 January 2019 and 10 July 2019, Mr Brown was employed on a temporary contract with Cardiff City Council - Children's Services ("the Council") as an Agency Worker. His agency employer at that time was Red Sector. Red Sector has not placed Mr Brown in any other roles since the contract with the Council ended in July 2019.
  • On or around 31 July 2019, SCW received a referral from the Council in respect of Mr Brown. The referral related to allegations that Mr Brown had falsified child protection visits and failed to follow management instructions regarding starting the PLO (Public Law Outline) process.
  • The issue came to the Council's attention when concerns were raised by service users after Mr Brown's contracted placement with them had ended.
  • In an email to Red Sector on 2 July 2019, Elizabeth Hale from the Council outlined a number of concerns regarding Mr Brown's practice. The email has been disclosed to SCW.
  • In an email from Elizabeth Hale to SCW on 10 September 2019, Ms Hale reported a number of specific concerns regarding Mr Brown's practice including failures to carry out and failures to record visits.
  • Ms Hale provided SCW with notes of visits with 'Service User 1' on 16 and 18 July 2019 and with notes of a discussion with ‘Service User 1's’ mother on 30 August 2019. The notes refer to a number of concerns raised in relation to Mr Brown.
  • Ms Hale also provided SCW with notes of a discussion with Mr Brown on 31 July 2019 regarding the concerns raised by ‘Service User 1’.
  • Since the temporary post with the Council ended, Mr Brown has been retained by a different employment Agency – Nonstop Consulting, who placed him with Merthyr Tydfil Council between April 2020 and August 2020, Powys Council between August 2020 and October 2020 and Shropshire Council from 3 November 2020.
  • In an email from Ariel Ahmeti of Nonstop Consulting, dated 15 December 2020, it was confirmed that Mr Brown had not informed them that he was subject to ongoing Fitness to Practise investigations with SCW until after he had started working with Shropshire Council.
  • Rebecca Unsworth of Powys Council sent an email to SCW on 22 December 2020. Ms Unsworth confirmed that she had been Mr Brown's line manager and that he had not informed her of any fitness to practice cases during his employment. It was confirmed that Mr Brown's case recording was not up to date and assessments were not completed. Mr Brown had only completed two assessments out of the 16 that were allocated despite Ms Unsworth asking for them several times and allowing him time to write them up.
  • SCW were provided with an employment reference completed by Michelle Jayne of Merthyr Tydfil Council with whom Mr Brown had been placed between April and August 2020. It is confirmed in the reference that there was "evidence of significant drift in terms of panning for some case work". It was stated that there was evidence of a lack of case recording and documented plans.
  • On 19 February 2021, SCW received a referral from Siobhan Williams of Shropshire Council. The referral arose from complaints regarding lack of communication and disrespectful responses from Mr Brown.

Allegations

Whilst registered as a Qualified Social Worker and retained by Cardiff City Council ("the Council") as an Agency Worker between 21 January 2019 and 10 July 2019 you:

(1) failed to comply with your duties to visit children who were on the register and under the PLO process;

  • In an email to Red Sector on 2 July 2019, Elizabeth Hale from the Council outlined a number of concerns regarding Mr Brown's practice. It was stated that, at one point, children who were on the register and under the PLO process were said to have not been visited for over 80 days.

(2) delayed issuing care proceedings on a newborn baby for nearly six weeks;

  • In the email to Red Sector dated 2 July 2019 (referred to above), Elizabeth Hale stated that Mr Brown had delayed issuing care proceedings on a newborn baby for nearly six weeks, despite this being agreed as the plan before birth. This was not child-centered and the Local Authority was criticized in Court for delay to the permanency planning for the child.

(3) failed to complete a referral to the adoption team for a baby who the Council was twin-tracking through the Court;

  • In the email to Red Sector dated 2 July 2019 (referred to above), Elizabeth Hale stated that Mr Brown had failed to complete a referral to the adoption team for a baby who the Council was twin-tracking through the Court.

(4) failed to carry out, or alternatively, failed to record the required core group meetings in respect of families and/or children that had been allocated to you;

  • In the email to Red Sector dated 2 July 2019 (referred to above), Elizabeth Hale stated that Mr Brown had not recorded any core groups since the start of his placement in January 2019. She also stated that he had failed to hold a core group meeting for over 11 weeks following a review conference, despite them being held on a monthly basis.
  • In an email from Elizabeth Hale to SCW on 10 September 2019, Ms Hale stated that Mr Brown had only recorded one core group meeting on one child despite there being four families.

(5) failed to carry out, or alternatively failed to record, visits in respect of children and/or families that had been allocated to you;

  • In an email from Elizabeth Hale to SCW on 10 September 2019, Ms Hale stated that, in respect of 'Child 1' and 'Child2' (who were on the child protection register), Mr Brown had not recorded any visits between 3 April 2019 and 14 May 2019 despite the fact that he said that he visited on a weekly basis.
  • In respect of the 'Family A' (Care and Support), Ms Hale stated that there had been no visits or recordings by Mr Brown. She confirmed that the family refused support after Mr Brown left, stating that no support had been offered previously.

6) in relation to 'Service User 1':

(6.1) you did not visit regularly and in line with child protection procedures; and/or

(6.2) you did not attend for arranged visits without prior agreement; and/or

(6.3) you failed to make any action plans in the core groups; and/or

(6.4) you referred to a family member as looking like a sumo wrestler; and/or

(6.5) you told Service User 1's mother that you had been given a list of names of people who could "sort things out", or words to that effect; and/or

(6.6) you recorded a child protection visit on 6 July 2019 despite the fact that no such visit took place.

  • Ms Hale provided SCW with notes of visits with 'Service User 1' on 16 and 18 July 2019. The notes confirm that Mr Brown did not visit regularly and in line with child protection procedures; did not turn up for arranged visits; would not let Service User 1 know that he would not be coming and did not make any action plan in the core groups. It is also recorded that, when Service User 1's brother told Mr Brown that he had seen his uncle, Mr Brown asked whether this was the uncle who looks like a sumo wrestler.
  • Further, the notes state that Mr Brown told Service User 1's mother that he was previously a probation officer and that he had been given a list of names of people who could fix situations for him. It is stated that Service User 1 advised Ms Hale that her mother had felt that this had been done in a threatening manner.
  • It is also stated in the notes that Mr Brown had not visited on 6 July 2019. However, Ms Hale observes that a visit is recorded in the child protection visits recorded on the system. She says that the recording is "very vague with the children not mentioned by name and lacking in detail" which makes it different from other child protection visits where there is much more detail about the children and what happened in the visits.
  • Elizabeth Hale provided SCW with notes of a discussion with Service User 1's mother on 30 August 2019. It is stated that Service User 1’s Mother confirmed that Mr Brown had told her that he used to be a probation officer and that he had a list of names that someone had given him in case he ever needed anything "sorting out". Service User 1s Mother advised that she felt threatened by Mr Brown when he said this.
  • Ms Hale also provided SCW with notes of a discussion with Mr Brown on 31 July 2019. The notes confirm that Mr Brown stated that he believed he had visited Service User 1 on 6 July 2019. His reasoning for the vagueness of the recording was that he was trying to streamline recordings. Mr Brown could offer no reason as to why there were no visits recorded between 3 April 2019 and 14 May 2019. He maintained that he visited on a weekly basis. Mr Brown admitted that he had referred to the uncle as being a 'sumo wrestler' and that he thought he had told Service User 1's mother that he had a list of names of people who could "sort things out".

(7) Your conduct, as set out at charge 6.6, was dishonest.

  • It is confirmed in the notes of visits with Service User 1 on 16 and 18 July 2019 (referred to above) that Mr Brown had not visited on 6 July 2019. However, Ms Hale observes that a visit is recorded in the child protection visits recorded on the system.

Whilst registered as a Qualified Social Worker between April 2020 and February 2021 you:

(8) failed to notify your employers that you were subject to an ongoing investigation by SCW until November 2020;

  • In an email from Ariel Ahmeti of Nonstop Consulting, dated 15 December 2020, it was confirmed that Mr Brown had been placed with Merthyr Tydfil Council between April 2020 and August 2020, Powys Council between August 2020 and October 2020 and Shropshire Council from 3 November 2020. Ms Ahmeti confirmed that Mr Brown had not informed them that he was subject to ongoing Fitness to Practice investigations with SCW until after he had started working with Shropshire Council (on 3 November 2020).
  • Rebecca Unsworth of Powys Council sent an email to SCW on 22 December 2020. Ms Unsworth confirmed that she had been Mr Brown's line manager and that he had not informed her of any fitness to practice cases during his employment.

(9) Your conduct in relation to charge 8 was lacking integrity

  • During a telephone discussion between Mr Brown and SCW's Fitness to Practice Officer on 8 October 2020, the SCW Officer requested that Mr Brown confirm that his employer was aware of the ongoing case and concerns that had been raised. He was therefore aware of the need to disclose this information but failed to do so.

(10) Whilst retained by Shropshire Council as an Agency Worker between November 2020 and February 2021, you:

(10.1) failed to record any visits to see Child 3 in his foster placement during the allocated period of 16 November 2020 to 22 January 2021;

(10.2) were disrespectful to Child 3's mother in your recording of "family time";

(10.3) advised a connected Carer not to comply with family time ordered by the Court.

  • On 19 February 2021, SCW received a referral from Siobhan Williams of Shropshire Council. The referral arose from complaints regarding lack of communication and disrespectful responses from Mr Brown. An example involving Child 3 was provided whereby Mr Brown is said to have recorded no visits to see Child 3 in his foster placement during the allocated period of 16 November 2020 to 22 January 2021. It is stated that Mr Brown had seen Child 3 once and that his recording of this "family time" had been disrespectful to Child 3's mother. It is also stated that a Fostering Team Manager had stated that Mr Brown had advised a connected carer not to comply with family time ordered by the Court.

Conclusion.

  • Mr Brown confirms his agreement to the facts set out in this statement.
  • Mr Brown confirms that it is not his intention to work in the future in any capacity which would require him to be registered by SCW and that he wishes his name to be removed from SCW's register by agreement under Rule 9 of the Investigation Rules 2020. This statement of agreed facts has been prepared for that purpose.
  • If, contrary to his expressed intention, Mr Brown should make an application for registration with SCW at a future date, he acknowledges that SCW may have regard to the contents of this statement when considering such an application.