A Dundee social worker is facing a string of allegations including “missed opportunities” to minimise risk of harm to a number of vulnerable children.
Brian Stevenson, a Dundee City Council resource manager, is under investigation by the Scottish Social Services Council, with a hearing launched on Monday.
A witness told the panel that in one of the cases, Mr Stevenson allegedly failed to highlight the risk of sexual abuse towards child AA, a seven-year-old girl.
Another child in the family had raised concerns about sexual abuse by AA’s father, but it is claimed Mr Stevenson failed to disclose this in a number of reports and meetings.
A number of issues were also raised by AA’s school about the child being “unkept, smelling of urine, tired and hungry”, refusing to go home after school, being disruptive and not being taken to school on time.
The school also reported an incident where the girl’s father was said to have been “aggressive, threatening and using foul language” towards staff on the premises.
The charges against Mr Stevenson allege that he did not organise the appropriate social work meetings and referrals after being made aware of these concerns.
At a later stage the case was transferred to a different social worker, who arranged a meeting culminating in a Child Protection Order being granted by the court.
As a result, child AA was taken into foster care and her father was referred to the procurator fiscal by police in relation to the sexual abuse concerns.
The witness told the hearing: “The sheriff who granted the CPO remarked at the time that it looked like it had been necessary for a long time.
“Brian Stevenson’s assessment had no sense of urgency, or of a child at immediate risk, although his assessment was based on more or less the same information as the CPO.”
Mr Stevenson is also facing allegations of “inappropriate physical contact” with child AA by picking her up on a number of occasions and of failing to record an occasion when he took her to a circus alone.
The charges further allege that he became involved with a civil court dispute between another child’s parents, with his involvement going beyond his remit as a social worker.
In a separate case, it is claimed the social worker failed to carry out proper review of a risk assessment when a child was returned to the care of his father, who had drug misuse issues.
Altogether the charges span between 2011 and 2013 and involve eight families including a total of 15 children between the ages of two and 13.
Mr Stevenson was not present at the hearing, which is due to continue until April 8.