Suffolk social worker struck off for having sexual relationship with ‘vulnerable’ service user

Suffolk County Council headquarters; Endeavour House, Ipswich.

Suffolk County Council headquarters; Endeavour House, Ipswich. - Credit: Archant

A Suffolk social worker has been struck off after having an inappropriate relationship with a service user while employed by Suffolk County Council.

Charissa Angela Williams was removed from the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) register on the grounds of misconduct following a recent Conduct and Competence Committee hearing.

The panel had heard that Mrs Williams had become involved in a relationship with someone under her care and that the relationship was sexual in nature.

Mrs Williams had denied the allegation.

The panel also heard that she had breached professional boundaries by allowing the service user, who cannot be named for legal reasons, to visit her home and by messaging him on social media.

Mrs Williams had also failed to inform her manager and colleagues that she had continued contact with the man after he had been allocated to another social worker.

Following the hearing, panel chairman Debbie Hill said: “The sexual relationship had involved a vulnerable service user suffering from mental health difficulties and had involved a breach of trust.

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“Mrs Williams continued to deny the allegation.

“The Panel concluded that there was a serious risk that she would repeat her behaviour.

“In light of the serious nature of the allegation the Panel concluded that any lesser sanction would undermine confidence in the profession and the regulatory process.”

Mrs Williams was not present or represented at the hearing.

A spokesman for the Suffolk County Council said: “Suffolk County Council take any instance of misconduct very seriously and we respect the response of the HCPC in this matter.”

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