Call for better employer support after Pembrokeshire worker is cleared of misconduct

BASW has questioned the level of managerial support given to a social worker cleared of misconduct in a case centred on her failure to inform her employer that she was facing personal difficulties that may have affected her work.

The Care Council for Wales (CCW) decided that Heather Falconer, who was employed by Pembrokeshire Council, did understand her personal problems could have had an impact on her work performance but that her failure to inform her employer did not call into question her suitability to practise as a social worker.

BASW Cymru manager Robin Moulster said the case “raised concerns about the lack of adherence of employers to the Code of Practice for Employers of Social Care Workers in Wales, which require that supervision and other requirements of employers should be there to support social workers and enable development and not merely as a mechanical case-checking process.”

Explaining its decision, the conduct committee stated: ‘We accept the assertion of the registrant’s representative that there was no evidence that her work was adversely affected’. It added: ‘We have seen supervision notes and several testimonials that describe Ms Falconer’s practice as being of a consistently high standard, despite her difficult personal circumstances.’