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Residential child care worker removed from the Register because of serious misconduct

24 September 2021
Social Care Wales

A residential child care worker from Wrexham has been removed from the Register of Social Care Workers after a review hearing found her fitness to practise is currently impaired.

Rebecca White was suspended from working in a registered social care role in Wales for 12 months after a hearing in December 2020 found her fitness to practise was impaired because of serious misconduct.

The hearing was told that between November and December 2019, Ms White exchanged phone calls and messages with a colleague, with whom she was in a relationship, in which the colleague shared his desire to have sex with young children.

The hearing was told that Ms White failed to tell her employer about the messages or phone calls, and the information only came to light because another person raised concerns about Ms White’s partner, which led to his arrest.

Earlier this week, a hearing was held over Zoom to review Ms White’s progress following her suspension and to decide if her fitness to practise was still impaired.

After reviewing the evidence, the panel found that Ms White didn’t as yet fully understand the implications of her actions and this was unlikely to change in the future. The panel, therefore, decided her fitness to practise was currently impaired.

Explaining its decision, the panel told Ms White: “When you answered questions [today], we found you tended to give the same answer repeatedly and your responses appeared rehearsed rather than communicating any significant level of reflection, insight and remorse. You did not refer to your personal responsibility except when asked directly about this.”

The panel added: “Although you have undertaken a lot of general training, none of [it] addresses sexual abuse risks directly. The training had not equipped you to answer our questions reflectively in a way which demonstrated real change.

“Your evidence did not persuade us that you fully understood how inappropriate your conduct was and recognised its potential consequences. We are concerned that you would not recognise or act to prevent improper conduct by others in the future.”

The panel decided to remove Ms White from the Register, saying: “You would need to show really significant change to be put in a position of trust with responsibility for safeguarding vulnerable individuals in the future and, therefore, we concluded that imposition of a further period of suspension and review was not appropriate.”

The panel added: “We have decided that it is necessary to impose a Removal Order to protect the public and, in particular, to uphold confidence in social care work in Wales.”