Social worker struck off over sex 'contract'

Written by on June 21, 2019

A social worker found to have groomed a vulnerable 19-year-old for sex and made him sign a “relationship contract” has been struck off.

Robert Alderson created the document, forbidding the young man from cutting off contact, in exchange for a mobile phone, a panel said.

He insisted there had been “a consensual relationship” and told The Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) he had “no regrets”.

It found him guilty of misconduct.

During a hearing, the watchdog heard Mr Alderson had worked for a Staffordshire County Council safeguarding team dealing with children considered to be at risk of harm.

He became involved with the 19-year-old, who had a history of self-harm, and “paid for alcohol, outings and clothes” for him, it was said.

After taking out the phone contract for the “very isolated” care leaver, Mr Alderson created the document for him to sign.

It featured a number of “clauses” which limited the young man’s interactions with others and prevented him from cutting off contact with Mr Alderson.

One said he would “not enter into any sexual/romantic relationship with an other homosexual or bi-sexual male for the duration of the phone contract”.

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The boy eventually came forward to the local authority and his sister reported the matter to police.

Mr Alderson, who did not attend the hearing, resigned in March last year, and is thought to have been involved with the boy between August 2017 and February 2018.

The HCPC found Mr Alderson was “sexually motivated” and had seriously abused his position of trust and duty of care.

“Mr Alderson says he has no regrets regarding his actions other than the impact it has had on his own mental health” the committee said.

It also found his fitness to practise was impaired by reason of his misconduct.

He has 28 days to appeal the ruling.

Staffordshire councillor Mark Sutton said: “As soon as the situation came to light the county council acted quickly to secure the safety of the young person and Mr Alderson was suspended.

“This is a very sad and regrettable case, but thankfully cases like this in Staffordshire are very rare.”

Staffordshire Police have been approached for comment.

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