Wrexham social worker removed from Register over ‘multiple serious failings’

A social worker from Wrexham has been removed from the Social Care Wales register after a fitness to practise hearing found he had put the young people in his care at risk of serious harm.

Les Woods was accused of multiple failings between March 2016 and June 2017, including failing to make sufficient progress with his case load, failing to complete essential paperwork for young people in his care and failing to maintain professional boundaries with a young person.

Mr Woods was employed at the time by Wrexham County Borough Council as a social worker working with adults and children.

The hearing was told that Mr Woods failed to follow advice and instructions from his management, and failed to complete his employer’s formal capability process. He also failed to complete tasks and attend mandatory training, and submitted inaccurate expenses claims.

Having heard the evidence, the committee decided that Mr Woods’s fitness to practise was impaired because of his misconduct and lack of competence.

Explaining its decision, the committee said: “The findings we have made do call into question Mr Woods’s suitability to remain on the Register without conditions.

“We consider this is the case in relation to his failure to adhere to management instructions, and his failure to complete expense and subsistence forms accurately.

“But we especially feel that Mr Woods’s numerous failures to complete essential documentation on behalf of young people and his numerous failures to maintain professional boundaries are significant issues, which clearly cross the threshold for misconduct.”

The committee continued: “In our judgment, Mr Woods does pose a risk to individuals using services. We feel that this arises because we cannot be confident that Mr Woods would make different decisions or behave differently in the future.”

Removing Mr Woods from the Register, the committee said: “We recognise that a Removal Order should be used where there is no other way to protect the public.

“In our view, Mr Woods has demonstrated a lack of insight, and we have taken the view that there is no realistic prospect of any satisfactory remediation. Further, we feel that confidence in the social services profession would be undermined by allowing Mr Woods to remain on the Register. We therefore make a Removal Order in Mr Woods’s case.”

Mr Woods did not engage with the investigation or attend the two-day hearing last week at the Village Chester St David’s Hotel in Ewloe, Deeside.