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Social worker removed from practice for fabricating visits to at-risk children

Former Plymouth City Council social worker Charon Rae Salisbury has been removed from the Social Care Register following a General Social Care Council (GSCC) conduct hearing this week.

Ms Salisbury was found guilty of misconduct regarding eight children who were subject to ongoing child protection concerns between October 2007 and March 2008 when she was a senior social worker at Plymouth City Council.

The GSCC committee found she had repeatedly made entries on Plymouth’s in-house case recording system that she had made home visits to the eight children on numerous occasions when she had not. In some instances she expressly stated that she had seen the children when in fact she had not.

In relation to child G and child H she recorded that she had made two home visits to each child and saw both the children on both of the visits when, again, she had not.

Ms Salisbury falsely recorded that she had made a home visit regarding child B on 24 occasions between 1 October 2007 and 26 March 2008. Ms Salisbury stated that on 22 of the 24 occasions she had seen child B when she had not seen him at all.

Similarly, she claimed to have made home visits on 16 occasions to child A in the same time-scale when again she had not seen the child, and she falsely recorded that she had seen child A on 11 of the 16 home visits.

During five supervision sessions with her line manager between 22 October 2007 and 26 March 2008, Ms Salisbury indicated that her visits to children A-H were up to date and she did not disclose that she had not personally undertaken the visits on the dates in question and had delegated the visits to the student social worker.

Ms Salisbury admitted she did not carry out the home visits, even though she had recorded that she had done so, and that she had recorded seeing the children even though she had not really seen them. In mitigation, however, she claimed that her line manager knew she was not carrying out the visits, that the student social worker was doing so on her behalf and and had agreed the practice.

She added that her understanding of the IT system meant that she had to enter her own name in relation to visits carried out by the student social worker.

Critically, her line manager gave evidence to the contrary, claiming that she had not agreed that a student social worker could carry out these home visits.

The student social worker at the time of the allegations, who has since qualified, also gave evidence and stated that she had never been asked to carry out child protection visits at the time, she had not actually carried out the supposed visits and was clear that she could not have done so as she was a student social worker.

She added that she was sure Ms Salisbury had a good understanding of the IT system and her responsibilities for visiting children who are subject to child protection concerns.

She also said she had identified that Ms Salisbury had made false entries on the IT system and had in turn reported this to her line manager.

It emerged that in total 46 entries had been made by Ms Salisbury on the IT system falsely identifying that she had visited these children, and that no visit had been carried out by the student social worker on these occasions either.

The committee found that Ms Salisbury had acted in a deliberate and dishonest way and by failing to visit the children in their home environment, she failed to monitor the family situation and make risk assessments, thereby placing the children at risk of harm. She was therefore removed from the Social Care Register with immediate effect.