Social worker misled to take child into care
A social worker from North Devon used false and misleading information to take a child from Barnstaple into care, according to a social services report.
The Devon County Council social services internal investigation details how the social worker's actions caused the child emotional harm, when their role was to protect them from exactly that.
And it also revealed how the minutes of a meeting which the social worker had altered were signed off, either without being properly checked or with the knowledge they had been changed.
A summary of the report into the allegations also reveals how the social worker put pressure on another professional to retract a statement which showed the child was not at risk.
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The summary lists 13 complaints, ten of which were upheld. One was not upheld, one partially upheld and one was not investigated. Devon County Council said it is still looking into the results.
Although the report details the social worker's actions, it does not provide any clue as to their reasons. They are believed to still be working in North Devon, despite the findings. It is also understood these have not been passed on to the Health and Care Professions Council, the regulatory body for social workers.
A Devon County Council spokesman said it was still considering what further action should be taken. It is almost a year since the child was first taken into care.
"Following a complaint, we commissioned an independent investigation," the spokesman said. "The findings have been shared with the complainant."
The council's lead member for children, schools and skills, Will Mumford, said; "We are still investigating it and I certainly wouldn't want to make any comments that will pre-judge or prejudice that. Once the results of that ongoing investigation are known we will take appropriate action."
The news comes after an investigation, completed in July, was carried out by Devon County Council's social care customer relations department into complaints by the child's mother. It comes hot on the heels of an Ofsted report which branded Devon County Council social services' child protection service inadequate. That shone light on significant concerns about cases not being kept up to date and how inspectors considered procedures to be out of date. At the time Mr Mumford stressed "no children were found to be at risk of significant harm".