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Two residential child care workers suspended after young person ran away while in their care

01 April 2019
Social Care Wales

Two Wrexham-based residential child care workers have been suspended by a Social Care Wales fitness to practise panel after a young person in their care ran away while on an excursion.

David Corrigan, a senior project worker at the time, was suspended for 12 months, and his colleague, project worker Ben Berry was given a nine-month suspension. Both worked for Dewis, part of the Keys Group.

Each faced nine charges which accused them of not providing enough supervision of a young person they were looking after and of giving false or inaccurate information to the police about what happened when the young person ran away while on an excursion. This led to the police complaining about the care being provided by Mr Berry and Mr Corrigan.

All charges against Mr Corrigan were found proved while seven charges against Mr Berry were proved. The panel concluded that the fitness to practise of both men was impaired because of serious misconduct.

The Chair of the panel said: “Although difficult, dishonesty is not impossible to remediate. However, there was a period of time between May 2018 and March 2019 where you adhered to an account that we have found to have been untrue, and this untruthful account extended into your oral evidence before us in this hearing.

“In our view, you do pose a current risk to individuals using services. We are satisfied that you have insight into the implications of a young person in your care absconding, and we are also satisfied that you have remedied this aspect. However, we are not satisfied that you have insight into the dishonesty associated with this case. It is clearly difficult to develop insight where you do not accept that you were dishonest.”

Explaining the panel’s reasons for suspending Mr Corrigan and Mr Berry, the Chair said: “We consider that the genuine expressions of remorse we have heard from you, your passion for the profession within which you are privileged to work, the positive testimonials we have heard about your character and practice enable us to impose a suspension order.”

Both men will have to attend review hearings two months before their suspension orders come to an end, at which they will need to demonstrate to a panel that they have addressed their dishonesty.

The hearing took place at Beaufort Park Hotel in Mold.