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Misconduct outcome in social worker hearing

11 June 2010

A statement has been released by the Health and Social Services Department (HSSD) regarding the outcome of a General Social Care Council (GSCC) hearing regarding a female social worker. A spokesperson for HSSD said:

"HSSD are aware of the outcome of the GSCC hearing regarding a female social worker, Maria Del-Carmen Caravaca-Lawson, formerly employed by HSSD on a 1 year contract in March 2008.

"It can be confirmed that the GSCC hearing concluded that the facts found amounted to misconduct. The committee decided to admonish Ms Caravaca-Lawson. A record of this admonishment will be placed on the Register of Social Workers for 1 year.

"HSSD do not comment on the details of such hearings, as they are independent and this hearing was held in private.

"We can confirm that HSSD did report the social worker’s conduct in this instance, and that it was appropriate to do so. Our priority is always the wellbeing and safety of the vast amount of people our social workers come into contact with through their jobs. 

"We acknowledge that on a day-to-day basis social workers face a difficult task in assessing and managing very complex cases where there may be a risk to a vulnerable child or adult. However, Jersey is committed to the highest standards in social work and does not shy away from investigating and dealing with situations where there is evidence of poor practice. Where there is a finding of misconduct through internal disciplinary proceedings, we are obliged to notify the GSCC.

"The reporting of this incident in no way reflects on the hard and professional work which HSSD’s social workers and other front line staff do on a day-to-day basis with vulnerable people in the community, from all walks of life, all with different needs.

"It is essential that where concerns are raised about a social worker’s performance, these are tackled, as happened in this case. It was thought appropriate to refer this matter to the GSCC."

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