Residential child care worker removed from the Register over inappropriate behaviour

24 November 2017
Social Care Wales

A residential child care worker from Denbighshire has been removed from the Register of Social Care Workers after a fitness to practise hearing found his fitness to practise was impaired.

Gareth Wyn Jones was accused of failing to maintain professional boundaries with a vulnerable teenage girl in his care between February and October 2016, and putting another vulnerable child at risk.

When the allegations of inappropriate behaviour came to light in October 2016, he was investigated by the care home and subsequently sacked. We also suspended him from working as a registered social care worker while it investigated the allegations.

Mr Jones gave evidence by telephone at the three day hearing at the Beaufort Park Hotel in Mold last week, and seven of his former colleagues appeared as witnesses.

The committee heard how Mr Jones had been instructed many times to avoid one-to-one contact with the vulnerable teenage girl and to avoid going out alone with her, which he failed to do, with witnesses saying he deliberately sought contact with her.

During the hearing, Mr Jones admitted to play fighting with the girl, as well as giving her his bank card and PIN and asking her to withdraw money from his bank account, which he then used to pay for a meal for the two of them at a restaurant in Llandudno.

Mr Jones also admitted to leaving another vulnerable child from the care home alone in a car with the engine running, placing the child at risk of harm.

Having heard all the evidence, the committee concluded that Mr Wyn Jones’s fitness to practise was impaired because of his misconduct and lack of competence.

Explaining its decision, the committee told Mr Jones: “You showed no significant insight or remorse. You told us that, in the future, you would not put yourself in a position where allegations or charges could be raised against you. Your regret was focused on the impact on you rather than on the young people concerned.

“We characterised this as a limited acceptance of what others said about your conduct and its implications for you, rather than a reflection on the shortcomings in your own practice. In light of your lack of full insight, we could not be confident that you would not make the same or similar mistakes again.”

The committee therefore decided to remove Mr Jones from the Register saying: “We find that only a Removal Order will be adequate to protect members of the public and the wider public interest in this case.”