A social worker has been thrown out of the profession after he failed to protect a child who was “being allowed to visit a crack den with their father.”
Ross Mitchell, a social worker at Aberdeen City Council, has had his registration removed by the care watchdog the Scottish Social Services Council.
He admitted a misconduct rap following an investigation by the body, who ruled he had “placed a child at unnecessary risk of harm”.
A probe by the SSSC found that Mitchell – who was only recently qualified when he went to work for Aberdeen City Council – had bungled a string of cases that left children a “ongoing risk”.
In the first case, between August and November 2014, he failed to find out the outcome of a court hearing relating to a child’s father and failed to investigate if that child’s father “presented an ongoing risk”.
Also in November he lied to a colleague about returning a child to a drug user father’s care and failed to follow a manager’s instruction to leave the child in their mother’s care.
The following February a client of Mitchell’s told him that a child, identified only as EE, was “being allowed to visit a ‘crack den'” with the child’s father.
However, Mitchell failed to pass that information on to a team manager for more than a month “despite knowing that EE’s father presented a significant risk”.
That resulted in a delay in applying for a child protection order for the child.
In a written judgement, the SSSC’s fitness to practice panel said Mitchell had been “negligent” and “demonstrated a failure in his duty of care”.
They wrote: “Your omissions placed a child at unnecessary risk of harm.”
Referring specifically to the crack den incident, they added: “By failing to report information, which suggested that a child was at serious risk of harm, to a manager, you placed that child at serious risk of harm.
“As a social worker you were expected to recognise risk and take action accordingly.
“This behaviour demonstrated a disregard for the level of risk involved and the welfare of the child.
“Your behaviour contributed to there being a delay in a Child Protection Order application being progressed.
“This delay meant that the child was placed at risk of harm for an unnecessary period of time.”