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

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

| Social Care Wales

A residential child care worker from Swansea has been removed from the Register of Social Care Workers after a Social Care Wales hearing found her fitness to practise is currently impaired because of serious misconduct.

The hearing was told that between August and October 2018, Georgia Thomas engaged in sexual activity and exchanged messages of a sexual nature with a 15-year-old resident in her care.

The hearing was told that Ms Thomas sent the young person an inappropriate photo of herself and told the young person she loved them.

In addition, the hearing was told that Ms Thomas failed to let her employer know promptly when the young person threatened self-harm, and lied to her employer about her social media exchanges with the young person.

As a result of the allegations, Ms Thomas was suspended by her employer and subsequently dismissed.

After considering the evidence, the panel concluded that Ms Thomas’s behaviour was dishonest and lacked integrity, and that her fitness to practise was currently impaired because of her serious misconduct.

Explaining its decision, the panel said: “Ms Thomas’s integrity is clearly in question and her actions amount to a breach of a fundamental tenet of social care. Her actions are likely to have caused [the young person in her care] harm by perpetuating his attachment difficulties and they are likely to undermine public confidence if not robustly addressed.

“Ms Thomas showed disregard for [the young person]’s well-being and that of her colleagues. She might have caused significant damage to him during a critical stage of his development, particularly so far as his understanding of appropriate relationships with women are concerned.

“The events in question took place more than three years ago, but we have no evidence that Ms Thomas has accepted that she did wrong and taken serious steps to address her behaviour.”

The panel continued: “There is no indication of insight or remorse on her part. We conclude, therefore, that Ms Thomas is liable to behave in the future in a way which puts individuals using care and support at risk.”

The panel decided to removed Ms Thomas from the Register, saying: “[A] Removal Order is the only appropriate option given the circumstances. Ms Thomas would present significant risk to young people in particular if she were to return to social care work.”

Ms Thomas was not present at the four-day hearing, which took place over Zoom last week.