Social Workers

Legal representation for social workers Leeds

Employment Solicitors Leeds offer specialist representation for social workers involved in the healthcare and care provision sectors, in cases under investigation by either:

  • The Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC)

The Care Council for Wales (CCFW)

The Regulatory Process

England

The General Social Care Council (GSCC) was replaced by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) on the 1st August 2012, to take over the regulation of social workers throughout England.

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The Health and Care Professions Council disciplinary process

Investigation

The issue concerning a social worker’s fitness to practice will be raised with the Health and Care Professions Council. An investigation will be carried out by the appointed case manager, who will be responsible for notifying the social worker. The social worker then has 28 days to formally respond to the allegation.

The case is presented to an investigating committee, where a decision is made whether or not it merits a formal hearing. In cases where a hearing is deemed appropriate, a solicitor will prepare the case on behalf of the Health and Care Professions Council.

Hearing

A solicitor will present the case at the hearing, working on behalf of the Health and Care Professions Council.

Matters will be presented to a panel made up of the Conduct and Competence Committee, pertaining to:

  • Convictions or cautions
  • Determinations by another regulator
  • Misconduct
  • Lack of competence
  • Decisions on barring a professional

Where the health of the social worker is believed to be affecting their decision-making, cases will be presented to a panel of the Health Committee.

Cases of fraudulent or incorrect registration will be presented to a panel of the Investigating Committee.

Both the accused and prosecution will present evidence to the committee, and wherever relevant, witnesses may be called. The social worker must be given every opportunity to provide evidence relating to their defence.

Decision

If the case is proved against the solicitor, on the balance of probabilities, by the Health and Care Professions Council, then they are in a position to administer one of the following actions:

  • Take no further action
  • Order mediation to find a suitable solution to all parties
  • Caution the social worker—a warning should be added to their registration details and should remain there for between 1 to 5 years
  • Implement practice conditions on the social worker
  • Suspend the social worker
  • Remove the social worker from the working register to prevent the social worker from practising

Appeal

The social worker has the right to appeal to the High Court against any decision and sanction imposed by the Health and Care Professions Council.

Wales

The Care Council for Wales (CCFW) manages the regulation of social workers in Wales. The CCFW is permitted to authorise an interim suspension order against any social worker when investigating cases brought against them. The order can last up to 6 months or for as long as the initial investigation takes place.

The Care Council for Wales disciplinary process

Investigation

All findings made by an allocated investigating officer will be presented to a Preliminary Proceedings Committee after an initial evaluation.

Hearing

If there is just cause to present a case, the Preliminary Proceedings Committee will refer it to one of the following for a hearing:

  • The Conduct Committee
    For matters pertaining to convictions, misconduct, incompetence, and determinations by other regulators.
  • The Health Committee
    For matters pertaining to health problems.

Both sides should present evidence, including witnesses wherever relevant. The social worker must be allowed every opportunity to make a complete defence.

Decision

If the committee involved decides that the case against the social worker has been proved on the balance of probabilities, they can administer one of the following actions:

  • Take no action
  • Issue a warning
  • Suspend the social worker for up to 2 years
  • Remove the social worker from the working register

Appeal

The social worker can appeal to the High Court against any decision or sanction made by the Care Council for Wales.

Internal disciplinary proceedings

We also represent any social worker involved in cases of internal disciplinary proceedings being carried out by their employer or line manager.

Representation for social workers in cases of regulatory proceedings

If you are subject to proceedings carried out by the Health and Care Professions Council or the Care Council for Wales in respect of your role as a social worker, please contact us on 0113 4334 118, or complete the form on our enquiry page. One of our dedicated team will contact you as soon as possible to discuss your case, possible outcomes and all of your available options.

Our Team

Louise Carr

Louise Carr

Our team is headed up by Louise Carr who had specialised in employment law for more than 15 years. She regularly appears in the employment tribunal and has been particularly involved in dealing with complex multi-day discrimination claims.

Craig McCracken

Craig McCracken

Craig McCracken is a Director in our employment team who also specialises in employment law with over 14 years’ experience in dealing with both contentious and non-contentious matters.In the most recent Legal 500 clients described Louise as being “accessible and down to earth” providing “clear and concise advice…in an exceptionally personable way”. Craig was described as “very knowledgeable and approachable” giving “sound advice”.