The Social Worker in question had re-wrote a reference for a new job to air brush out the truth about his past work record. Previously he had been demoted from being a senior social worker after an internal disciplinary panel found him guilty of gross misconduct involving failing to visit three vulnerable children and falsifying records to show he had.
The Social Worker also failed to escalate safeguarding concerns for a child who had been injured while being restrained in a children’s home, lied and tried to blame others.
His £31,000 annual salary fell to £18,000. He subsequently went to seek employment as a senior social worker with a specialist recruitment agency. However, he failed to tell them about the disciplinary hearing.
The assistant director in St Helens Council’s social work department, provided an email reference in which the gross misconduct finding was mentioned though not the details.
Despite the reference being “extremely generous to him” it did assess his reliability and honesty as “needing improvement” and three of the relevant competencies were described as ‘average’.
Liverpool Crown Court heard the reference raised “red flags” and he was told that consequently it meant he was unlikely to get that sort of job. Jailing him for nine months the judge, Recorder Andrew Shaw, said, “You decided your only option was to take matters into your own hands.”
The Social Worker altered the reference using his computer and changed the nine areas of competency to ‘excellent’ or ‘good’. The defendant then attached it to an email purportedly from his manager saying he had re-considered his reference and sent it to the recruitment agency. However, the agency found out and he was suspended from his job. When interviewed by police he tried to blame the council and during his three day trial “flung as much mud as you could in the hope some might stick,” said the judge.
He said that the Social Worker’s conduct demonstrated he was not suitable to be responsible for vulnerable children. “You deliberately chose to put your gain and financial needs above the needs of the most vulnerable people. “You have shown not the slightest remorse and you took this to trial in the face of overwhelming evidence.”