A residential child care worker from the Gloucestershire area has been removed from the Register of Social Care Workers after a hearing found his fitness to practise was impaired.
The hearing heard how Caleb Davies formed an inappropriate relationship that was “tactile, intimate and personal” with one of the vulnerable teenage girls in his care.
Mr Davies spent long periods of time alone with the girl and her roommate gave evidence that on the nights when Mr Davies was on shift, the girl did not sleep in their shared room.
The incidents in question relate to a 14-month period between December 2013 and January 2015 when Mr Davies was working at a care home in a rural area that provided accommodation for up to four vulnerable teenage girls.
Mr Davies was not present and did not give evidence at the three-day hearing at our Cardiff office last week.
The hearing was also told that Mr Davies had two Facebook accounts – in one of which, he was friends exclusively with teenage girls or young women, some of whom were former residents of the home.
The hearing heard the reason for operating this second account was to hide Mr Davies’s continuing contact with former residents, which was against the home’s policy, from his employer and colleagues.
One former resident also gave evidence that Mr Davies boasted about using drugs when talking to her, saying he showed her a hidden compartment in his watch in which he could hide cocaine and told her how to adapt a vape pen so she could smoke cannabis through it.
Additionally, the hearing heard how in July 2014 Mr Davies was the senior member of staff on duty when a volatile incident arose between two young residents. Rather than support the home’s more junior staff members to resolve the incident, the hearing was told that Mr Davies stormed off and left the premises.
Having heard all the evidence, the committee concluded that Mr Davies’s fitness to practise was impaired because of his misconduct.
Explaining its decision, the committee said: “In our judgement, Mr Davies exploited a young and vulnerable female resident over a protracted period of time in circumstances where it was his responsibility to protect her from the same risk as he presented to her.
“In acting as he did, Mr Davies put individuals (including vulnerable residents) at risk, brought the social care profession into disrepute, showed a lack of integrity and breached fundamental tenets of the profession.
“The consequence of Mr Davies’s lack of engagement with Social Care Wales during this process is that there is no evidence before us of his having taken any remedial steps or having developed any insight.”
The committee decided to remove Mr Davies from the Register, saying: “Mr Davies behaved dishonestly and in abuse of the trust placed in him by his employers, colleagues and the residents.
“We find that Mr Davies’s actions and attitudes are fundamentally incompatible with work in regulated social care. Imposition of a Removal Order is necessary and is proportionate given the need to ensure the protection of members of the public and the wider public interest.”