Judge says social worker now on Isle of Wight attempted ‘cover up’

A social worker, now a district manager on the Isle of Wight, is named in Family Court by the Judge as attempting to “keep the truth” from him. Our report has many more details, including the council’s response to us asking if the social worker would continue to be employed.

justice cherub statues

A social worker, now employed as a district manager on the Isle of Wight, has been named by a judge in court as initiating the “wholesale alteration” of a social services report for Hampshire County Council.

The proceedings in the family court in Portsmouth, which started two years ago, heard of the attempted “cover-up” by a Hampshire County Council social worker and her manager, Kim Goode, who now works on the Island.

Ms Goode: “Initiated wholesale alteration”
The court was told that Ms Goode “initiated the wholesale alteration” of an assessment report for parents who were trying to get their five children back.

They heard the report was initially balanced, but after being altered, created a “wholly negative” picture of the parents.

Attempted to “keep the truth” from Judge
Judge Mark Horton said the original report had been withheld and the “parties to the alterations” tried to cover up its existence.

Ms Goode, who is is now employed as a social services district manager on the Isle of Wight, was accused by Judge Horton as attempting “to keep the truth” from the parties and him.

In response, Hampshire County Council say, “We are satisfied that at no stage did any of the named officers deliberately mislead the courts.”

One social worker “lied on oath”
Judge Horton said,

“It is exceptional to find a case in which there has been deliberate and calculated alteration of a report prepared by one social worker in order to make that assessment seem less favourable, by another social worker and the team manager.”

He added that one of the social workers, not Ms Goode, had “lied twice to me on oath” and that the delays to the case had been almost exclusively down to the actions of employees of Hampshire.

Judge: They should be named
The Daily Echo reported,

He [the judge] said given the “enormity” of what staff had done and the fact “they still work as social workers” it was right that they should be named so that members of the public were aware of “their shortcomings in this case”.

Hampshire’s involvement on the Isle of Wight
Control of Isle of Wight Children’s Services was taken over by Hampshire County Council following a damning Inadequate rating from Ofsted in 2013.

Hampshire’s control was agreed in June 2013 for a period of five years. By November 2014, the council had been moved out of ‘Inadequate’ status for Children’s Services.

Isle of Wight council won’t comment
OnTheWight has posed a series of question to Isle of Wight council.

We asked:

  • How many people in that case are working at IWC?
  • Are the council concerned at what the judge has said?
  • Will they (in particular Ms Goode) continue to be employed?
  • Was IWC aware of the court case before employing them?

This is the response we received,

An Isle of Wight Council spokesperson said: “This case is a matter for Hampshire County Council. The Isle of Wight Council does not comment on internal staffing matters.”

A spokesperson for Hampshire County Council, said:

“We are pleased for the sake of the children that the courts have agreed our applications for Care Orders. This is a very complex case as evidenced in the findings – involving very serious neglect to vulnerable children. We are very pleased that the outcome of the court case was consistent with the Local Authority’s original application to the court – to safeguard very vulnerable children who were at risk of suffering significant harm as a result of neglect.

“There are some aspects of the Court’s criticism that we believe are not quite correct however, and are considering our position in this regard. We do accept that there were deficiencies in some of the social worker practice in this case and subsequent action was taken, including the termination of one social worker’s employment with the County Council.

“We are satisfied that at no stage did any of the named officers deliberately mislead the courts.”

Sources: Daily Echo // BBC

Image: redroseexile under CC BY 2.0

Monday, 23rd November, 2015 4:18pm

By

ShortURL: http://wig.ht/2dHS

Filed under: Island-wide, Isle of Wight News, Top story

Any views or opinions presented in the comments below are solely those of the author and do not represent those of OnTheWight.

Leave your Reply

19 Comments on "Judge says social worker now on Isle of Wight attempted ‘cover up’"

  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Email updates?
Paul Randle-Jolliffe
Goode has been reported to the police. I was given the crime number by the person who reported it. Plus the IWC have a duty of care under the contract to ensure that due process is followed, it is not just a matter for hants. A suspension and investigation is in order and potential review of all cases she has been involved with on the Island. By… Read more »
eddo

“lied twice on oath” , do we really need to go further and the final act must be the final para from HCC

Niton Wight Satin
I’m utterly saddened that Isle of Wight council won’t comment on this, choosing to take an aloof position instead. This isn’t about a person taking paper clips, this is Judge saying that a social worker oversaw the alteration of a report to remove the redeeming virtues of a family to make it appear utterly negative. Surely the absolute minimum standard we should expect of social workers is… Read more »
retired hack

I’m hoping against hope that what we’ve seen so far is a stock, defensive, quote from a junior Press officer; and that in due course (an hour?) the administration will get on to this, and say and do what needs to be said and done.

Paul Randle-Jolliffe

It will be the legal dept. Known avoiders of issues.

ThomasC

Why do we want the IWC to make a comment on the social workers employed by Hants CC who happen to work on the IW?

They’re not the employer – Hants CC are, so the questions need to be laid at their feet, surely?

Simon Perry

This just in from IWC from our query of yesterday

“The services are provided by staff directly employed by the Isle of Wight Council.”

“Staff employed by Hampshire County Council provide strategic leadership and management of the Isle of Wight Council’s children’s services.”

(I’ve switched the order of the paras to provide more clarity)

ThomasC

Well then it’s clearly in the IWC’s ‘court’ – that clarity was definitely needed!

oh Island
People like this break families apart. I appreciate it’s a delicate situation but from my own experience, the wrenching apart of families is utterly disgusting when it’s at the mercy of biased or false statements from a social worker or foster carer. It’s happened here on the Island already and it took 8 years to re-unite my family! 8 Years too late! Social work is a tough… Read more »
S Osmund
It is odd that the IOW Council regularly boasts of its “partnership” with Hampshire County Council but when the chips are down they want to offload the responsibility onto Hampshire. The truth is that responsibility for childrens’ services was removed from the IOW Council at government direction.The IOW Council is still spending unacceptable amounts of council tax promoting their input into education and childrens’services which are in… Read more »
Paul Randle-Jolliffe

Let’s be clear:

Such acts are

1. Acts tending to pervert the course of justice.
2. Misconduct in public office.
Both imprison able offences

Possible conspiracy

And breaches of duty of care and social worker licences.

Mark Francis

Lying on oath is generally seen as perjury which is a common law offence for which there is no maximum sentence.
I was once ordered to take a child into care but then I wrote a positive report & the child was returned. I was not popular with management.

Paul Randle-Jolliffe

But and here is the big but

[part of comment removed by moderator]

davimel
Have I got this right? A team of social workers wrote a report on the fitness, or not, of some parents. The team leader and one other social worker then altered the report from a balanced opinion, to a negative one and as a result the children were taken into care and HCC then crow about how great they are??? How completely bizarre and even dishonest! Obviously… Read more »
tr2015
Sadly in my experience this is NOT an isolated incident. Social Workers have for too long had the benefit of the doubt, and this, coupled with heavy workload, can lead them to cut corners and make biased judgements. My advice to anyone having any dealings with them is to keep records of everything, every conversation, every phone call. have independent witnesses and corroborating evidence wherever possible and,… Read more »
tr2015
The HCPC has the power to suspend a social worker, to remove their licence. They have only regulated social workers for a couple of years, and social workers do not want the public made aware of this. so no matter what the local authority say or do not say in their defence, the individual social worker can be held to account. this organisation has teeth, and we… Read more »