A residential child care worker from Wrexham has been removed from the Register of Social Care Workers after a Social Care Wales hearing found her fitness to practise is currently impaired.
The hearing was told that Jade Fitzpatrick failed to maintain a professional boundary and had an inappropriate sexually motivated relationship with a young person in her care.
The panel also heard that Ms Fitzpatrick looked for further employment in the care sector and didn’t tell potential employers that she was subject to an ongoing investigation by Social Care Wales and had been suspended from working in a registered social care role in Wales.
After considering the evidence, the panel concluded that Ms Fitzpatrick’s fitness to practise was currently impaired because of serious misconduct.
Explaining its decision, it said: “Ms. Fitzpatrick failed […] to maintain an appropriate professional boundary with [a young person in her care], that she formed an inappropriate relationship with him, and that her conduct in so doing was sexually motivated.
“This conduct breached the trust of [the young person], his family, and Ms Fitzpatrick’s employer. Such is the extent to which this conduct strikes at the heart of the trust and confidence that is placed in social care workers, we have no hesitation in concluding that it is deplorable.”
The panel continued: “Ms Fitzpatrick has shown neither acknowledgment of wrongdoing, nor insight into her misconduct. She has not attended this hearing, and in her written communications with Social Care Wales at an earlier stage of its investigation, she limited herself to a bare denial of the allegations and deflecting that with an assertion that she was the victim of ‘horrendous lies’ perpetrated against her.”
The panel decided to remove Ms Fitzpatrick from the Register, saying: “[T]here has been a grave departure from the relevant standards set out in the Code of Professional Practice for Social Care.
“We do not consider that any lesser disposal would protect the public, given the nature of the matters we have found proved, the lack of both insight and remediation to which we have already referred, the finding of dishonesty we have made, and the risk of repetition we have found.”
Ms Fitzpatrick was not present at the nine-day hearing, which was held over Zoom last week.