SSSC – NOT FIT FOR PURPOSE.
SSSC, Not Fit for Purpose in our humble opinion, there for Social Work management and not for anyone else and certainly not for the third sector or members of the public in general.
SSSC in 2017 updated all it’s Code Of Practices and it was meant to strengthen the already tuff regulations that Social and care workers have to follow in order to stay registered and stay employed.
Not alot of people know this but the SSSC has a bit of a monopilly on this sector it’s one of the very few organisations that demands approximately £80 a year from social workers to basically stay in their jobs, if they forget to pay this their employer could be informed and that means the member can’t work until their fee is paid.
Very few other professional workers in other walks of life has to do such things and many Social Workers that we know and fully respect thinks this expense which they can’t recover is to expensive and also thinks it’s a money making machine, their words not ours but does make one think.
Our experince of the SSSC over the last 2 years 2015 on is a waste of time, no matter what we have been able to prove, no matter how much evidence of SW wrong doing and no matter how many codes of practices we think a registered worker has broken nothing seems to happen to them.
Now on the face of it that might seem a little worrying but according to the SSSC all complaints are held on file and if other complaints are made against the same officer/s it will be used against them then, whatever that means, so if a member of the public complains about one issue and the fitness to practice team says it does not impair their practice but it might if another seperate complaint is made about the same issue/s at a later date it will, that’s not very transparent ro any complainer.
So that means it was a good reason to fully investigate that complaint and because of data protection laws the orignal complainer won’t ever be told if that worker will be disaplined for that very reason they complained to start with at some later date in the future, that fills one with total confidence in the service, not.
DADSCARE, has found Social Workers writing reports about clients that are completely untrue, fabricated rubbish and even when local authourity complaints teams have fully investigated these complaints and up-held them for not meeting the standards of service required the SSSC still does not take action which leaves members of the public total bemussed.
Now we know that the SSSC works in very mystreious ways including asking it’s registered members to write what could be concidered as completing a SA on how to improve their practices, Social workers in general hate this requirement and thinks in general it’s a waste of time, we agree.
Every social worker should know what is right and what is wrong and just confirming they know the right proceedure won’t stop them from doing the wrong practices in general again.
If a naughty social worker doing naughty sneaky stuff to say 20 clients out of those only 1 might know how to complain because in general no SW client is ever told how to complain about their service such as Aberdeen and Dunde childrens sevices tells none of their clients how to complain about anything THAT WE HAVE EVER SEEN yet Angus does but the point is they are all required by law to do this which kind of tells it’s own story and the SSSC does nothing about this when informed, not ever!
If a local social work department does not want to tell it’s clients how to complain at a local level and the SSSC does not impose this on them as a simple requirement then how likely is it that the service user will even know there is in fact a regulator in place for that very same service?
Not a single client of DADSCARE that has come to the charity for help in issues with social work was told how to complain at the local level and certaingly never knew anything about the Scottish Social Services Comission which is really disturbing.
The SSSC does have it’s uses though, many social workers and care workers have been removed from their practices but we think this is more to do local management concerns than from members of the public or the third sector interests.
When one looks at the SSSC live and old case files and end results they do look like they were distrubing complaints (from a management point of view) but our ones have in some cases been much worse and we are told time and again the said workers are still fit to practice makes us sometimes cringe at the very prospect in our opinions.
It would be very interesting to find out the percentage of public concerns upheld complaint rates, we see another FOI looming?
If a complaint is made about a registered worker and their local management fully supports that worker the chances of an up-held complaint at SSSC level is almost zero no matter how bad the complaint/s might be, which kind of proves our point, this needs an urgent review by an outside body which DADSCARE can supply proof of?
There is one very serious loophole DADSCARE have found one of the most obvious ones came to light just very recently.
We complained about a social worker in Aberdeen Children’s Services and was told by the SSSC we can’t investigate that person as she is not registered with our service, we thought how can that be this worker is very senior, we then found out she was married and writing SW reports or letters in her married name and using her maiden name as the registered SSSC worker name.
Many reading this including senior politicians might want to ask us why this is important, this is very important because the SSSC says registered workers must update their details and status if there are any changes.
To a service user who might have had their children taken into care through no fault of their own and just might be one of the very lucky ones that knows the SSSC is there for them can only use the service if they know the actual registered SW name being used?
If the client did not know what her maiden name was prior to her taken the case file under SSSC regulations no complaint can even start!
We only found out her maiden name because there is nothing we can’t find out but if a service user does not have the resources we have how would one ever find that required information.
Now the SSSC may say registered names could be searched using first names and areas but if the worker is using a common first name in a large authority then good luck to you.
We would judgest also the area of the City they are working in should also be searchable but what does our opinions count for?
This was June 2017 and guess what she is still writhing reports in her married name and still registered with the SSSC on her maiden name nearly 4 months on shows the SSSC is NOT FIT FOR PURPOSE.
We have already told the director of this service Anna Fowlie about our concerns her reply was if your not happy go to the SPSO.
No-one will ever stop us from doing the right thing for our many clients their partners and more importantly their children and we will never stop fighting for their rights as parents or be silenced, probally the main reason we never get any funding but never stopped us before or will it.
UPDATE 27-09-2017 FOI REQUEST BY SCOTTISH CHARITY DADSCARE[
In reply to your request for information received on 18 September 2017, please see
our response to your questions below.
1/ How many fitness to practice complaints has been received in past 3 years from
either a) members of the public, b) third sector, c) employers?
a. In the period between 18 September 2014 and 18 September 2017 we received 235 complaints from members of the public (MOPs). 96 of these complaints are still under investigation.
b. Of the 235 MOP complaints, 10 were from organisations in the third sector
c. In the period between 18 September 2014 and 18 September 2017 we received 3575 complaints from employers (3459 from current employers and 116 from previous employers). 1014 of these complaints are still under investigation.
Of the 3575 complaints from employers 818 were from organisations in the third sector.
2/ What percentage of complaints received from these 3 separate groups have been upheld over the last 3 years?
a. Of the MOP complaints we have concluded investigating, 2.15% have resulted in
a sanction being imposed on the worker’s registration
b. Of the employer complaints we have concluded investigating 13.3% of current employer complaints and 21.5% of previous employer complaints have resulted in a sanction being imposed.
c. In relation to complaints received from third sector employers only, 10.9% of these complaints have resulted in a sanction being imposed.
There are also a small number of cases in which we have made a finding of misconduct or that a worker’s fitness to practise is impaired but not imposed a sanction. Due to the way we record our case outcomes it is not possible to provide a specific number of cases in which this has happened.
3/ How many complaints from either a) members of the public b) third sector c) employers has there been concerning Aberdeen social work children’s service over last 3 years and the percentage of upheld complaints by all three groups?
a. We have received 2 complaints from members of the public and 4 from employers regarding Aberdeen Social Work children’s services.
b. Of the 2 MOP complaints, one has been closed with a finding of no impairment of fitness to practise. Our investigation into the other MOP complaint is still on-going.
c. Of the 4 complaints received from employers, one has resulted in a warning being imposed on the worker’s registration. Our investigations into the other 3 complaints are still on-going.