Conditions placed on social worker’s practice over care plan failure

18 January 2018
Social Care Wales

A social worker from Pembrokeshire has had conditions placed on his practice by a fitness to practise committee for failing to follow a child’s care plan.

Davey Michael Hicks, who was present at the three-day hearing at the Hotel Mariner’s in Haverfordwest last week, admitted to organising two contact visits in Pembrokeshire for a vulnerable teenager in care and his father in 2016 – despite a court order stating the visits must take place outside the county.

The hearing heard that Mr Hicks, who was employed as a senior social worker by Pembrokeshire County Council at the time, didn’t seek permission to change the child’s contact visits, failed to follow management instruction and failed to complete paperwork about the changing visits.

Mr Hicks also admitted to buying an age inappropriate DVD for the teenager and another gift for a child in his care without permission, despite the fact he wasn’t supposed to buy gifts for children in his care without his managers’ approval.

Having considered the evidence, the committee concluded that Mr Hicks’s fitness to practise was impaired because of his misconduct and lack of competence due to poor judgement, and placed conditions on Mr Hicks’s practice for the next two years.

Under the conditions, Mr Hicks must provide us with copies of his supervision records every month until January 2020 and these records must show he’s following relevant processes, following management instruction and completing his work on time.

He must also complete a number of training courses over the next 18 months and submit a 3,000 word essay to us, in which he critically reflects upon the assessment needs of children who are looked after.

Explaining its decision, the committee told Mr Hicks: “We consider that the child was put at risk of harm due to your failure to fully appreciate and make appropriate judgements in relation to the potential risks associated with moving contact to Pembrokeshire. There is no evidence that the child suffered harm, but the impact on his long term emotional health is unknown.

“You have co-operated and engaged with Social Care Wales throughout, and have made some admissions. It is clear you have not taken the proceedings lightly.

“You have reflected on the events and shown remorse and partial insight, but we do not think the insight shown is sufficient to lead us to believe that you do not present a risk to individuals who use services at the current time.

“Taking the above into account, we consider that a Conditions of Practice Order, with the conditions specified, is the proportionate sanction in this case.”