Northants County Council social worker struck off over failure to visit children under his care

County Hall.
County Hall.

A county council social worker who failed to visit a number of children under his care has been struck off.

Michael Gooding was removed from the HCPC (Health and Care Professions Council) register on grounds of misconduct.

A panel of the HCPC’s conduct and competence committee heard that concerns about Mr Gooding’s practice arose while he was working in the Children in Need Team.

Mr Gooding was responsible for a number of failings regarding children in 11 cases, including not completing required visits, not recording visits, not convening a strategy meeting with police when recommended and not updating care plans.

Mr Gooding had been employed by the county council since 1989 and part of the Children in Need team since 2006.

He was given a warning in 2009 but further complaints were made in 2011, 2012 and 2013 about his attitude and conduct.

This was resolved by a letter of apology, but a year later the first of many concerns were raised about his work which led to an investigation.

He was then suspended in May 2014.

More than 30 charges were found proven, with Mr Gooding - who did not attend the hearing - cleared of four charges relating to completing reports and arranging meetings.

Panel chairman Philip Geering said: “The public has a right to expect its social workers to safeguard children and to ensure that their actions do not fall far below acceptable and professional standards such that the public’s confidence in the profession is damaged.

“Protecting children is a fundamental expectation of the Social Work profession.

“Mr Gooding’s failure to comply with this brings the profession into disrepute.”

Northants County Council has been asked for a comment.