Residential child care worker removed from the Register for making up stories about his personal life

14 September 2017
Social Care Wales

Martyn Parry Owen, a residential child care worker from Caernarfon, has been removed from the Register of Social Care Workers after a Social Care Wales hearing found his fitness to practise was impaired.

The hearing heard that Mr Owen repeatedly made up stories about major life events while employed by Bryn Melyn Care between June 2014 and June 2016.

Mr Owen did not participate in proceedings at any stage of the investigation and did not attend the one day hearing on 5 September at Social Care Wales’s Cardiff office. The committee said: “When considering whether we might reach the wrong decision on the facts if we proceed without hearing Mr Owen’s evidence, we noted that he is recorded to have accepted the factual allegations during a meeting with his former employers on 24 June 2016.”  

The committee heard evidence from a residential care manager who was Mr Owen’s line manager for a more than two years.

Mr Owen told his employers and colleagues that his young daughter had died from an epileptic fit and that his sister had died in a car accident while he was employed by Bryn Melyn Care.

However, Mr Owen accepted in a meeting with his former employers on 24 June 2016 that he did not have a daughter and his sister did not die in a road accident.

Mr Owen’s line manager also testified that he claimed to be suffering from a number of medical complaints, including meningitis. On contacting the hospital, Mr Owen’s line manager was told that he had not been diagnosed with meningitis.

The hearing heard that Mr Owen claimed to have new-born sons and shared baby photos with colleagues. This was untrue and Mr Owen accepted when challenged that he had no children.

Mr Owen’s line manager told the committee that he claimed to have been involved in a number of domestic incidents requiring medical attention, including his wife falling down the stairs. Parish records checked by his line manager proved that he had never been married. Mr Owen accepted this in the 24 June 2016 meeting.

The committee found that Mr Owen’s actions were fundamentally dishonest in that he knew these events had not happened.

After hearing the evidence the committee concluded that Mr Owen’s fitness to practise is currently impaired by reason of misconduct.

In reaching its decision, the committee said: “Mr Owen’s colleagues clearly thought he had deceived them. We were satisfied that reasonable people would think Mr Owen’s behaviour was dishonest and that Mr Owen must have appreciated at the time that this would be their reaction.”

The committee found that Mr Owen failed to meet the expectations of the Code of Professional Practice for Social Care.

The committee stated: “By behaving dishonestly and without integrity, he failed to model good behaviour and act as a role-model for the children in his care. For these reasons, we decided that Mr Owen posed a risk to the children in his care.”

The committee therefore decided to impose a Removal Order, saying that: “The close family of the children accommodated in the home would legitimately expect a high standard of honesty from those caring for their children. Mr Owen’s actions had the potential to undermine public confidence.”

The committee expressed concern that Mr Owen’s behaviour showed a pattern of persistent dishonesty over a long period. When asked about it by his employer on 24 June 2016, Mr Owen suggested that his behaviour had its roots in his childhood.

The committee was not satisfied that Mr Owen had shown any meaningful insight into his misconduct until he was confronted about it during the meeting on 24 June 2016. He has not provided any evidence of remorse or of commitment to address his impairment. He has not offered any cooperation to Social Care Wales as his regulator during the fitness to practise process.

In summing up its decision, the committee said: “We find Mr Owen’s impairment so serious that, in conjunction with the absence of evidence of any remediation, his behaviour is fundamentally incompatible with continued registration.”