A residential child care worker from Flintshire has been suspended from working as a registered social care professional for two years after a fitness to practise hearing found his fitness to practise was impaired.
Thomas Michael Jones was accused of behaving and speaking in an inappropriate manner towards two vulnerable young people in his care.
At the time of the incidents in February 2017, he was employed at a residential children’s home in north Wales, working with children and young people with complex needs, aged between eight and 19 years old.
The hearing was told that during one of the incidents, Mr Jones spoke and behaved in an unsympathetic manner towards one vulnerable young person, causing the young person to cry.
During another incident, the hearing was told that Mr Jones did not read a vulnerable young person’s behaviour support plan before working with him.
When an incident arose with the young person, Mr Jones failed to follow the calming methods set out for the child, instead responding in a hostile manner, which caused the young person to bite Mr Jones and pull the hair of another residential child care worker.
Mr Jones did not attend the two-day hearing at our Cardiff office last week nor did he co-operate with our investigation.
Having heard all the evidence, the committee decided that Mr Jones’s fitness to practise was impaired because of his misconduct and that he’d breached multiple parts of the Code of Professional Practice for Social Care.
The committee explained its decision, saying: “We find that Mr Jones’s misconduct has undermined public confidence in the social care profession. Mr Jones was in a position of trust to support and care for vulnerable young people and his actions breached one of the fundamental tenets of the social care profession.”
The committee decided to suspend Mr Jones from working as a residential child care worker for two years.
Explaining its decision, the committee said: “We have concluded that the imposition of a Suspension Order would be appropriate in order to protect the public, the interests of individuals who use services and the public interest in the social care profession.
“Unfortunately we have not had the benefit of hearing from Mr Jones in relation to any steps he may have taken to remedy his conduct. Without this, we consider that he may continue to pose a risk to vulnerable young individuals who use services.
“We consider that a suspension for a period of two years is required in order to adequately protect the public and provide sufficient time for Mr Jones to remedy his impairment.”
We are the professional regulator for social care professionals in Wales. We keep a register of all the social workers, social work students, residential child care managers and workers, domiciliary care managers and adult care home managers in Wales.
We also set standards of education, training, conduct and performance. Everyone registered with us must meet the standards set out in the Code of Professional Practice for Social Care.
If concerns are raised about the standards of a registered social care professional, we have a duty to investigate and, if necessary, take action to protect the public. Fewer than one per cent of the social care professionals on our Register are investigated by our fitness to practise team.