Wolverhampton social worker struck off for misconduct
A social worker who was employed by Wolverhampton Council has been struck off by the Health and Care Professions Council for filing case reports littered with a catalogue of serious errors.
Nilima Thawait is said to have carried out the incidents of misconduct while employed by the council between January 2012 and early 2016, when she was sacked.
Her case was heard by the Health and Care Professions Council Tribunal Service in London. The charges related to a number of different cases over a four-year period.
In one incident it was claimed she mistook the gender of a client and also failed to say how long another had been in care.
During the course of her employment in Wolverhampton, Ms Thawait – who did not attend the hearing – also copied from old case files belonging to other social workers, failed to identify potential risk factors relating to vulnerable clients and frequently did not complete work on time, the tribunal heard.
'Assessments made no sense'
Her core assessments were said to have often “made no sense”, lacked sufficient details and neglected to record the progress of service users, who their carers were or how long they had been in care.
Other failures detailed in the allegations included not saying whether an individual wanted contact with other members of their family or if the views of parents had been sought.
In one instance she had copied from records belonging to a client’s sibling, the hearing noted.
On several occasions she used content from previous cases that was not her own work – once asking a colleague who was not involved with her client to complete the first draft of an assessment without authorisation, according to the file against her.
Another charge against Ms Thawait says she failed to mention relevant details of one client’s sexual behaviour and did not record any personal history, social skills or previous journey through social services.
In several case studies relating to Ms Thawait she is said to have spelled clients’ names wrong, recorded incorrect dates of birth and failed to say when care orders were made.
The tribunal also heard she told one prospective adopter that their case was listed for a final hearing when this was untrue and in another failed to provide the relevant parties with contact details.
Other claims listed during the hearing included not properly identifying who individual carers were, copying content from colleagues’ casework that bore no relation to her own clients, using the wrong format for reports and including information in the wrong sections.
The panel heard evidence from several individuals and found them to be “credible and compelling witnesses whose evidence was reliable and persuasive”.
Ultimately, they decided that the appropriate and proportionate sanction would be a Striking-Off Order.
In mitigation, the board took into account Ms Thawait’s long history as a social worker, the private matters set out in her formal response to the allegations and the fact she did not receive consistent managerial intervention to improve the standard of her work until June 2014.
A statement on behalf of Ms Thawait said that given the length of time that had passed since the allegations were first set out and her personal circumstances at the relevant time, she had “no meaningful recollection of the individual matters that formed the case and would not therefore be making any other formal response to any of the allegations”.
Ms Thawait qualified as a social worker in 1993 and joined the city council in 2000.
A spokesman for Wolverhampton Council said: "The individual in question was dismissed by the council in January 2016 due to capability issues.
"As is usual in these matters, we referred the matter to the Health and Care Professions Council as she was still registered as a social worker.
"A number of social work managers from the council were called to give evidence to the tribunal."
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