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Services for Clients

November 12, 2008 permalink

British social worker Egbert Elijah Hall has been suspended from his job after attempting to provide the kind of services for clients that a stud dog provides for a bitch. He joins a list of similar cases including Eric M Ferber and William Williams in Florida, and Brandon Ware in Philadelphia,



Social worker suspended after pursuing vulnerable women

A social worker from London has been suspended by an independent committee of the General Social Care Council (GSCC) for one year after being found to have pursued two vulnerable women who used services.

Egbert Elijah Hall, 49, was a locum social worker employed by the London Borough of Brent at the time of the incidents which were considered at a hearing held this week.

The panel heard that Hall visited one woman who used services, referred to as Y, when he should not have done so and asked her to go out with him. He was not the allocated social worker for Y and therefore had no legitimate reason for making contact with her. He later received a warning from the police about his harassment of Y.

He was also found to have contacted another person who used services, referred to as X, in order to try and befriend her. He disclosed personal details to X including information about his family, his background and his personal telephone number and on one occasion he tried to persuade X to let him meet her at the hotel she was staying in following a fire at her flat.

In coming to their decision to suspend him from the Social Care Register, which means he will not be able to practise as a social worker for one year, the committee said Hall’s behaviour amounted to serious misconduct. He was found to have breached a number of the GSCC’s codes of practice, including obligations to respect the dignity and privacy of people who use services, recognising the responsibility and power that comes from the social worker-client relationship and the obligation to not abuse the trust of clients.

However, the committee noted that there was no evidence of harmful, deep seated personality or attitudinal problems or evidence that he had repeated the behaviour. They recommended he should undertake training on the issue of professional boundaries, covering the sharing of personal information and the forming of relationships with service users.

Mike Wardle, Chief Executive of the GSCC, said: “Social workers work with some of the most vulnerable people in our society. Knowing that people in such positions of responsibility are part of a nationwide register and can be held accountable for their actions is a key way by which to increase confidence in the services those in social care provide. Fortunately cases of misconduct are rare and the majority of the 95,000 people on our register uphold the highest standards, keeping the interests of people who use services at the heart of everything they do.”

Social workers have a right of appeal to the independent Care Standards Tribunal.

Source: press release from General Social Care Council (UK)