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.
- 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.”