AM was a residential social worker in a children’s home. He grew increasingly concerned that a colleague, PE, seemed to have developed a close relationship with a 12 year old girl in the home.
Colleagues and some of the children joked that PE was becoming rather infatuated with the girl. During a holiday trip, AM was alarmed that PE insisted that the girl should travel in his car alone with him and that he spent a lot of time with her during the holiday. AM raised the issue with PE who just laughed it off. On return from the holiday, AM decided with a colleague that they should raise their concerns discreetly with the Council. They were told they had a duty to report them formally. When they did, an investigation was launched and PE was given special leave and told to stay away from the home. AM contacted us when he learned that the investigation had finished and that PE would be returning to the home. He and colleagues were worried that this was not the right decision.
WHAT WE ADVISED
We advised him to contact the Council’s head of child protection and explain his concerns. However, we pointed out it was the Council’s job to decide what action to take and that what mattered was that the Council felt sure that PE was not a risk. We also said that the fact that PE was returning to the home did not mean that no action had been taken.
After discussing the matter with the Council, AM felt happier with its decision as he knew the Council would be keeping a watchful eye over the home and that staff would be reminded of the whistle blowing policy.