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Social worker suspended for eight months because of criminal conviction

15 February 2021
Social Care Wales

A social worker from Manchester, who is registered to work in Wales, has been suspended for eight months after a hearing found her fitness to practise is currently impaired because of a criminal conviction.

The two-day hearing was told that Emily Jo Brown was convicted of two offences of battery in 2019 after she behaved violently outside her place of work while under the influence of alcohol.

Appearing before the panel over Zoom last week, Ms Brown reflected on her behaviour, describing it as “disgusting”, and said she would not act in that way again.

After considering the evidence, the panel concluded that Ms Brown’s actions fell short of the standards set out in the Code of Professional Practice for Social Care.

The panel decided that Ms Brown’s fitness to practice was currently impaired because of her criminal conviction.

Explaining its decision, the panel told Ms Brown: “We do not consider that at this stage you have developed full insight into the seriousness of your actions and the standards expected of you in your regulated role.”

The panel continued: “We acknowledge that the conduct for which you were convicted took place outside the workplace and did not involve service users or those to whom you owe a direct duty of care.

“Nevertheless, we are concerned that the conduct directly impacted on professional people in the course of their duties in the workplace. The conduct took place in public when you had a duty to act properly and be mindful of your status as a professional.”

The panel decided to suspend Ms Brown from working in a registered social care role in Wales for eight months from 5 March 2021. This will be reviewed in six months.

The panel explained its decision, telling Ms Brown: “We consider this to be both in the public interest as well as in your own interests as it will afford you an opportunity to develop fuller insight into your conduct and put measures in place to demonstrate how you have remediated that conduct.

“We do not consider that there is any evidence of harmful deep-seated personality or attitudinal problems, that, of themselves, prevent this from being a workable order in this case.”

The panel continued by saying: “[Y]ou have the potential to continue your career in the social care sector but you must avail yourself of this opportunity, take personal responsibility and show the initiative that is required.”