Care worker’s teen relationship ‘Inappropriate’

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A CHILD care worker has been struck off after forming an “inappropriate personal relationship” with a teenage girl in her care.

Amanda McDonald faced a series of charges including using “affectionate language” in text messages towards the 15-year-old and contacting the child while she was suspended from Moore House Care and Education in Bathgate – a privately-run school caring for young people aged between 11 and 16 with serious emotional and behavioural problems.

She was also alleged to have brought her own children to a meeting with another vulnerable user, placing them “at risk of physical and emotional harm”.

All of the complaints against Ms McDonald related to events that took place between March and April last year.

She is alleged to have:

• Sent text messages to the teenage girl disclosing details of the complaints against her;

• Used affectionate language towards the girl;

• Used inappropriate and offensive language about her employer.

A meeting last month of the Scottish Social Services Council’s conduct sub-committee found that while Ms McDonald had been dismissed from her post they considered her misconduct “very serious” because it involved “dishonesty” and demonstrated a “serious failure” to adhere to “professional standards”.

The report said: “The sub-committee was aware that the imposition of a removal order can have serious financial and reputational consequences for the registrant, although it noted that the registrant had been dismissed from her employment as a residential child care worker.”

It concluded that the text messages “included inappropriate language and also abusive language including profanities” and was “wholly inappropriate for the registrant to have communicated” in this way with the child.

It added that Ms McDonald committed a “clear breach of a direct instruction from her employer that she should not communicate with any young people connected with Moore House Care and Education whilst suspended”.

A spokesman for Moore House Care and Education said: “As soon as we became aware of concerns about Amanda McDonald’s conduct she was immediately suspended from her post. We conducted an investigation and then referred the matter to the Scottish Social Services Council.”

Ms McDonald could not be reached for comment.

The news comes months after an Edinburgh day care centre worker was removed from her post for assaulting a police officer and leaving her with permanent injuries.

Charlene Green was struck off following the attack in Leith Street on February 2011 where she hit the officer on the head with a bottle to her “permanent disfigurement”.