A residential child care worker from Neath Port Talbot is to be removed from the Register of Social Care Workers after a fitness to practise hearing found his fitness to practise was impaired because of his criminal convictions and serious misconduct.
Stephen Griffiths, who was employed by Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council at the time, was accused of failing to tell his employer that he had been charged with offences under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 and the Communications Act 2003.
Mr Griffiths subsequently pleaded guilty to the charges and was convicted of the offences at West Glamorgan Magistrates Court in March 2018.
Mr Griffiths did not attend the two-day hearing at our Cardiff office last week.
Having heard the evidence, the panel found that Mr Griffiths’s fitness to practise was impaired because of his criminal convictions and serious misconduct.
The panel explained the reasons for its decision, and said: “Mr Griffiths was under an obligation to report the fact that he had been charged with criminal offences as soon as reasonably possible, but did not do so.”
The panel decided to immediately remove Mr Griffiths from the Register, saying: “We have decided that, on the evidence before us, only a Removal Order will be adequate in this case.
“This is because there has been, in our judgement, a serious departure from the relevant standards set out in the 'Code of Professional Practice for Social Care'.
“In view of the lack of insight and remediation, and the risk to individuals using services that we consider to be present, there is no other way to protect the public.
“We also consider that public confidence in the regulation of social care, and public confidence in social care itself, would be undermined if Mr Griffiths remained on the Register. We therefore make a Removal Order in this case.”
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.