Wales

Social worker Debbie Hobson admits child visit no shows

Denbighshire council HQ in Ruthin Image copyright Google
Image caption Debbie Hobson was suspended and no longer works for Denbighshire council

A social worker failed to make visits to a child and tried to cover up by recording them as taking place, a tribunal has heard.

Debbie Hobson claimed she had been made a scapegoat by former bosses at Denbighshire council over the case.

She has admitted allegations relating to failing to carry out visits and leading bosses to believe she had.

But she denied a separate claim her conduct was dishonest before a Social Care Wales' fitness to practise panel.

David Mortimer, presenting on behalf of Social Care Wales, said that:

  • between May 2017 and March 2018 Ms Hobson failed to carry out six visits to Child A who was being considered for adoption
  • at a meeting in August 2017 she led her superiors to believe that visits had been made
  • in April 2018, she recorded eight visits had been made
  • she provided similar false information about visits to Child B.

Ms Hobson has admitted those facts, but denied her conduct was inaccurate or misleading, lacked integrity and was dishonest.

At a council disciplinary hearing she claimed any mistakes were honestly made and she had been made a scapegoat, the tribunal heard.

Jamie Pope, the council's service manager for intake and intervention, told the hearing Ms Hobson had handled the case of Child A from the outset and remained responsible after restructuring within the department when made a team manager.

Asked by Mr Mortimer whether she had been made a scapegoat, Mr Pope replied: "I totally and utterly disagree with that perception."

Mr Pope denied Ms Hobson had repeatedly raised concern that she could not handle the case, and it would have been "unsafe and poor practice" to transfer it to another team member.

Ms Hobson was suspended and no longer works for the authority.

The hearing in New Brighton, Flintshire, continues.

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