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Social worker speaks up about inappropriate relationship

Andre (not his real name) was a residential social worker in a children’s home. He was increasingly concerned that a colleague, Lionel (not his real name), seemed to have developed a close relationship with a 12 year old girl in the home. During a holiday, Lionel insisted that the girl should travel in his car alone with him and he spent a lot of time with her during the holiday.

Andre and a colleague raised their concerns discreetly to the local authority who launched an investigation and put Lionel on special leave. Once the investigation concluded, Lionel returned to work and Andre called Protect worried that this was the wrong decision.

We advised Andre to contact the Head of Child Protection at the local authority to explain his concerns. However, we also clarified that it was for the local authority to decide the appropriate action and what mattered was that it was sure that Lionel was not a risk. We highlighted that Lionel’s return to the home did not mean that no action had been taken. Andre spoke to the local authority and felt reassured with its decision as he knew that it would monitor the home and remind staff of the value of whistleblowing.

Strong whistleblowing procedures are the lifeline local authorities need right now

Protect Interim Chief Executive, Jon Cunningham appears in the latest issue of Public Sector Focus discussing why it is vital local authorities have in place strong whistleblowing arrangements. “Overburdened, under-funded and under-pressure they maybe but now more than ever local authorities need robust whistleblowing procedures as standard good governance – it could help prevent or … Read more

Governance report finds local authorities need to be more transparent with whistleblowing policies

A governance report into local authorities by the National Audit Office (NAO)  has found one in six councils do not have their whistleblowing policies easily available on their websites,  and of the policies that the NAO could find –  24% were out-of-date. The report, Local Authority Governance, published 15 January, acknowledged the challenges facing local … Read more