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Watchdog investigates Rotherham social workers

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The social work regulator is to investigate whether to take disciplinary action against any Rotherham MBC staff, or former staff, in the wake of the child sexual exploitation scandal.

In a statement the Health and Care Professions Council said it was “making inquiries with Rotherham to determine what action, if any, we need to take”.

The move comes after a damning report published last week by Professor Alexis Jay, which found 1,400 children were sexually exploited in the town between 1997 and 2013. The report criticised the council’s children’s services for protection failings.

The regulator, which oversees individuals’ fitness to practise, has the power to strike off or suspend social workers if they are found guilty of misconduct, which can include a failure to act.

It can put cautions or warning notices on an individual’s registration as a social worker, or introduce “conditions of practice” that would require them to undertake training or be supervised in some areas of their work.

Michael Guthrie, director of policy and standards at the HCPC, told LGC: “We investigate matters that are referred to us or that are picked up through other means such as press reports.

“We are currently trying to get evidence about the individuals involved and what role they played.  

“We’d want to find out who was involved, what their involvement was and whether it’s a ‘fitness to practise’ issue.”

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