Surrey social worker struck off for sex with a teenager

A Surrey social worker who had sex with a teenage girl has been struck off. Thomas Ritzler was jailed for two years and four months at Guildford Crown Court last November for sleeping with the 14-year-old.

The teenager did not meet Ritzler, 28, in his role as a social worker for Surrey County Council.

However, the General Social Care Council (GSCC) decided he needed to be removed from the Social Care Register to protect other children.

Ritzler, who remains in custody, chose not to attend the hearing.

GSCC chairwoman Rosie Varley said: “All social workers have a responsibility to act appropriately and with integrity, abiding by the law and the GSCC code of practice.

“Thankfully the majority of the 80,000 registered social workers find no difficulty in complying with this.

“In order to maintain the safety of vulnerable people we take all matters of law breaking by social workers extremely seriously, and will not hesitate to apply the appropriate sanctions.”

She said engaging in sexual activity with a child was “fundamentally incompatible” with the role of a social worker.

Ritzler was given the right to appeal against the decision.