Complaint # 10.29

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IN THE MATTER OF THE HEALTH PROFESSIONS ACT, R.S.A. 2000, c.H-7;

 

AND IN THE MATTER OF A HEARING INTO THE CONDUCT OF JANNA MORRISON, A MEMBER OF THE ALBERTA COLLEGE OF SOCIAL WORKERS;

 

AND INTO THE MATTER OF A COMPLAINT BY THE EMPLOYER INTO THE CONDUCT OF JANNA MORRISON PURSUANT TO S. 77(a) OF THE HEALTH PROFESSIONS ACT

 

REASONS FOR DECISION

Pursuant to a public hearing held on Nov. 22. 2011 in Edmonton, Alberta, the Alberta College of Social Workers Hearing Tribunal is issuing its reasons for its decisions.

A hearing into the conduct of Janna Morrison was held on November 22, 2011 pursuant to the Health Professions Act, R.S.A. 2000, c.H-7 as amended (the “Act”).

The hearing was a public hearing pursuant to s. 78 of the Act.

CONSENT ORDER

The investigated member, Janna Morrison, provided a written admission of unprofessional conduct to the Hearing Tribunal dated November 22, 2011 pursuant to s. 70(1) of the Act.

The Hearing Tribunal accepts all of the admission of the investigated member.

The allegations in the Notice of Hearing arise from a complaint from the employer, dated August 24, 2010.

The allegations in the Notice of Hearing are as follows:

1.      Inappropriate Boundaries

(i)                  That in 2010 you engaged in an inappropriate client/patient relationship in that you had a personal, intimate, sexual relationship with M.

(ii)                That you permitted M to attend at your home in 2010 during your maternity leave from your job.

(iii)               That in 2010 you engaged in a personal relationship with M including drinking alcohol with M to the point of intoxication.

(iv)              That you maintained personal interactions with clients on Facebook, including “T”, “M” and “A”.

(v)                That you maintained regular telephone contact with M up until February 4, 2011.

(vi)              That in August 2010 you attended at the Edmonton Court of Queen’s Bench for the purpose of interacting with M on a personal basis when you were specifically prohibited by your employer from having any further contact with M.

(vii)             That subsequent to August 2010 you failed to conclude your relationship with M notwithstanding the explicit direction of your employer and the complaint to the ACSW.

(viii)           That in or about April 2011 you attended at Drumheller Remand Centre for the purpose of visiting M(who is incarcerated at that institution).

2.       Failure to Register

(ix)              That you failed to register with the ACSW as a social worker for the year 2009 and 2010, while you were engaged in the practice of social work.

3.      Failure to Maintain Client Records

(x)                That you failed to keep any or appropriate and/or proper records with respect to M.  Specifically you failed to maintain records in any form or alternatively any records were inappropriate in their content.

The hearing proceeded on November 22, 2011

General findings of fact:

1.      Inappropriate Boundaries

(i)                  That in 2010 Ms. Morrison engaged in an inappropriate client/patient relationship with M, which became intimate and sexual in June and July 2010.

(ii)                That in 2010 Ms. Morrison engaged in a personal relationship with M including drinking alcohol with M.

(iii)               That Ms. Morrison had telephone contact with M up until February 4, 2011.

(iv)              That in August 2010 Ms. Morrison attended at the Edmonton Court of Queen’s Bench for the purpose of interacting with M and entered the courtroom that M was appearing in, when she was specifically prohibited by her employer from having any further contact with M.

(v)                That subsequent to August 2010 Ms. Morrison failed to conclude her relationship with M notwithstanding the explicit direction of her employer and the complaint to the ACSW.

(vi)              That on or about April 2011 Ms. Morrison attended at Edmonton Remand Centre for the purpose of visiting M (who was incarcerated at the institution).

Such conduct contravenes s. 117, 126, 130, 132(b) and 134 of the Standards of Practice and s. 4 of the Code of Ethics and consequently such conduct constitutes unprofessional conduct.

2.      Failure to Register

(vii)             That Ms. Morrison failed to register with the ACSW as a social worker from December 19, 2009 and to August 28, 2010 while she was engaged in the practice of social work.

Such conduct contravenes s. 145 of the Standards of Practice and s. 4 of the Code of Ethics and consequently such conduct constitutes unprofessional conduct.

3.      Failure to Maintain Client Records

(viii)           That Ms. Morrison failed to keep appropriate records with respect to M.

Such conduct contravenes s. 47 and 50 of the Standards of Practice and s. 6 of the Code of Ethics and consequently such conduct constitutes unprofessional conduct.

 

Facts relating to findings:

Ms. Morrison did not agree with “Inappropriate Boundaries (ii) That you permitted M to attend at your home in 2010 during your maternity leave from your job” and this was supported by the taped interview by the investigators so was agreed by all parties to remove this from the Consent Agreement.

(iv) That you maintained personal interactions with clients on Face book, including “T”, “M” and “A” was also removed from the Consent Agreement on the advice of all parties because the agency that she was employed by allowed Facebook communications.

 

It is acknowledged by Ms. Morrison and the ACSW that Ms. Morrison’s conduct as described in the Agreed Statement of Facts constitutes unprofessional conduct.

Ms. Morrison entered into a consent order agreed with the ACSW with respect to acceptance of responsibility for her unprofessional conduct.

Reasons for decision

1.      Inappropriate Boundaries

(i)                  Ms. Morrison admitted that she did engaged in an inappropriate client/patient relationship in that she had a personal, intimate, sexual relationship with M. This was also confirmed by the employer in the Investigator’s Report.

(ii)                Ms. Morrison also admitted that in 2010 she engaged in a personal relationship with M including drinking alcohol with M.  This was confirmed by an interview with the employer in the Investigator’s Report.

(iii)               Ms. Morrison also admitted that she had telephone contact with M up until February 4, 2011.

(iv)              Ms. Morrison admitted that in August 2010 Ms. Morrison attended at the Edmonton Court of Queen’s Bench for the purpose of interacting with M and entered the courtroom that M was appearing in, knowing that she was specifically prohibited by her employer from having any further contact with M.

           

REASONS FOR DECISION ON SANCTION

 

As a result of the findings of the Hearing Tribunal with respect to allegations of unprofessional conduct, the Hearing Tribunal makes the following orders in accordance with s. 82 of the Act.

 

1.      A reprimand shall issue as against Ms. Morrison

2.      Ms. Morrison’s permit to practice social work shall be suspended for a period of six (6) months, commencing August 28, 2010

3.      Ms. Morrison’s social work practice shall be subject to supervision for a period of two (2) years from the date of this Order, the costs of which will be borne by Ms. Morrison.  The supervisor shall be agreed upon by Ms. Morrison and the ACSW and the ACSW shall be entitled to such reporting from the supervisor as the ACSW deems necessary from time to time.

4.      Ms. Morrison shall be required to continue her ongoing consultation with a mental health practitioner to ensure her wellness to continue to practice social work for a period of two years from the date of this Order.  The ACSW shall be entitled to disclosure from the health professional from time to time, solely for the purpose of confirming Ms. Morrison’s wellness.

5.      Ms. Morrison is obliged to disclose this Consent Order to all social work employers for a period of two years from the date of this Order.

6.      In addition to the above supervision, Ms. Morrison shall be obliged to undertake consultation with an individual with expertise in professional ethics and boundaries, as approved by the ACSW.  There shall be a minimum six (6) consultations within six (6) months of the date of this Order.  The cost of these consultations will be the responsibility of Ms. Morrison.  The ACSW shall be entitled to any reasonable reporting as it deems necessary from time to time.

7.      Ms. Morrison shall pay costs of this matter in the sum of One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00) within 18 months of this Order.

8.      The contents of this Consent Order shall be published on a “with names” basis on the ACSW website.

 

The Hearing Tribunal makes its orders as set out above on the basis of the following reasons.

1.      The Reprimand serves as a deterrent, maintains the integrity of the profession and has happened to other members in similar circumstances.

2.      Suspension of Ms. Morrison’s practice permit is in the public interest and serves as a deterrent.

3.      The supervision order protects the public and serves to rehabilitate Ms. Morrison and is what has happened to other members in similar circumstances.

4.      Consultation with a Mental Health Practitioner serves to rehabilitate Ms. Morrison and confirm her wellness.

5.      Obligation to disclose the Consent Order to all social work employers is in the public interest and maintains the integrity of the profession and serves as a deterrent.

6.      Consultation regarding professional ethics and boundaries maintains the integrity of the profession and is in the public interest.

7.      Payment of $1,000.00 acts as a deterrent and is what has happened to other members in similar circumstances.

8.      Publication of her name in the ACSW website is in the public interest, is a deterrent, maintains integrity of the profession and is what has happened to other members in similar circumstances.

Respectfully submitted,

Per Hearing Tribunal

Copyright 2010 Alberta College of Social Workers