Haringey social worker suspended over 'inadequate care'

A social worker for the council that dealt with the Baby Peter and Victoria Climbie cases has been suspended after failing to give adequate care.

The Health and Care Professions Council suspended Diana Ndiho Gabulayo Onyango from its register for a year.

It found she failed to visit a toddler at risk of suffering violence and did not act quickly enough when a 12-year-old girl suffered alleged sexual abuse.

The panel heard Ms Onyango was inexperienced in UK social work.

She was suspended over her conduct while working for Haringey Council, between October 2008 and December 2011.

The panel, sitting in Park House in Kennington Lane, south-east London, heard Ms Onyango did not inform her bosses when she was told the mother of a two-year-old boy - who was on a Child Protection Plan - had a large bruise on her arm.

'Prefer calmer environment'

She also failed to visit the child every two weeks, as she was supposed to do.

In another case, she delayed informing the police and her managers after she received information a 12-year-old girl was suffering alleged sexual abuse.

Panel Chair Ian Griffiths said: "The registrant has not been in practice for two years and her renewed strength, energy and confidence had not been tested in the workplace.

"She admitted that she would prefer a calmer environment in which to work and would choose not to return to child protection work."

The panel heard in mitigation from Ms Onyango about her relative inexperience as a social worker in the UK and about the effect of her health and personal circumstances.

'Extensive injuries'

It further heard from Haringey managers about the difficult working environment at the council at the time.

The panel did not hear evidence Ms Onyango was involved in the Baby Peter case and she started working for the council after Victoria Climbie's death.

Haringey Council, which was widely condemned in the wake of the Baby P and Victoria Climbie scandals, last week apologised after failing to prevent the abuse of a toddler who suffered "extensive injuries" at the hands of his family.

The boy, referred to only as Child T, was twice taken to hospital but returned to his mother and heroin addict stepfather before eventually being taken into care in June 2011 when he was aged four.

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