Complaint # 11.6

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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 A MEMBER OF THE ALBERTA COLLEGE OF SOCIAL WORKERS;

 

AND INTO THE MATTER OF A COMPLAINT BY  INTO BRYAN HENINGER INTO THE CONDUCT OF THE MEMBER PURSUANT TO S. 77(a) OF THE HEALTH PROFESSIONS ACT

 

REASONS FOR DECISION

 

Pursuant to a public hearing held on December 20, 2011 in Calgary Alberta, the Alberta College of Social Workers Hearing Tribunal is issuing its reasons for its decisions.

 

A hearing into the conduct of the member was held on December 20, 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, provided a written admission of unprofessional conduct to the Hearing Tribunal dated December 20, 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 Bryan Heninger, dated March 4, 2011.

The allegations in the Notice of Hearing are as follows:

 

  1. Professionalism

(i)                 That you spent inappropriate time during your employment hours undertaking activities that were not related to your employment. Particularly:

a.      You spent excessive time on the internet;

b.      You spent excessive time on You Tube;

c.      You used employment time to pursue your private photography work;

(ii)               that you failed to properly complete appropriate documentation relating to you employment responsibilities in a timely fashion.  Particularly you were reported and disciplined for you failure to complete your written employment reporting in a timely fashion.

(iii)               That you undertook to your supervisor to complete this written reporting when you had no intention to do so.

 

Such conduct contravenes s. 9 and 14 of the Standards of Practice and s. 4 of the Code of Ethics and consequently such conduct constitutes unprofessional conduct.

 

  1. Failure to be Candid

(iv)             That you lied to your supervisor H and manager M about visiting a client during employment hours when that did not occur.

(v)                That you fabricated a contact note on the case file relating to a client in order to deceive your employer (you made a contact not about a visit which did not occur).

 

Such conduct contravenes s. 9, 134, and 155(e) of the Standards of Practice and s. 4 of the Code of Ethics and consequently such conduct constitutes unprofessional conduct.

(vi)             Such further and other allegations of unprofessional conduct as may be heard at the hearing of this matter and upon which you shall be provided notice.

 

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The hearing proceeded on December 20, 2011.

The Hearing Tribunal heard from the following witnesses at the Hearing:

The member

The following documents were accepted as Exhibits at the Hearing:

An Amended Notice of Hearing

Investigation Report

Affidavit of Service

Admission of Unprofessional Conduct

Consent Order

 

General findings of fact:

 

The tribunal accepted as fact the Investigation Report, the written and signed Admission of Unprofessional Conduct and the attendance at the Tribunal Hearing and verbal presentation to the Tribunal by the member where he reiterated his admission of unprofessional conduct.

 

The Tribunal noted a third allegation was added to the Consent Order and was agreed to by the member as follows:

 

3. Failure to Meet Primary Obligations

 

(v)   That the member failed to satisfy his obligation to his clientele (children and youth) while employed at SEACFSA

 

The Tribunal also noted that one allegation on the original Notice of Hearing, #1 (iii), was removed from the allegations agreed to in the Admission of Unprofessional Conduct and accept the explanation by the Alberta College of Social Workers that the information collected did not support this allegation.

 

The Hearing Tribunal believe the member is guilty of unprofessional conduct under section 5, 6, 9 14, 86 and 134, and 155(e) of the Standards of Practice and section 4 of the Code of Ethics.

 

REASONS FOR DECISION ON SANCTION

 

As a result of the findings of the 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 against the member.

 

2. The member shall practice social work subject to supervision for a period of one (1) year, the

cost of which shall be the responsibility of the member.  This supervision maybe within or

outside the employment context.  The supervisor shall be agreed to by the ACSW and the ACSW

shall be entitled to such reporting from the supervisor as the ACSW deems necessary from time

to time.

 

3. The member shall complete six (6) consultations with a senior social work practitioner approved by the ACSW within one (1) year of the date of this Order.  These consultations shall be with respect to issues of professionalism.  The cost of these consultations shall be the member’s responsibility.

 

4. The member shall consent to the disclosure of the information to the ACSW relating to his mental health to ensure his wellness to practice social work.  This consent shall be for a period of one (1) year from the date of this Order.

 

5. Mr. Gilmour shall pay costs in the amount of Two Hundred and fifty ($250.00) Dollars within six (6) months of the date of this Order.

 

6. There shall be a publication of this Order on a “no names” basis.

 

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

 

In instituting these sanctions the Tribunal considered the following objectives: Protection of the public, Deterrence, Rehabilitation, Fairness and Integrity of the profession.

 

There was no evidence provided that there was explicit harm to a client as a result of the member’s practice.  Given the member acknowledged his practice could have jeopardized his clients and he was cooperative throughout the discipline process the Tribunal felt there is no indication of further threat to the public safety. 

In the opinion of the Tribunal the requirements that the member participate in and cover any costs incurred for the required supervision (#2 and #3) along with the issuing of a reprimand constitutes a fair deterrence.

 

The member also indicated he has been involved in counselling over the past 10 months since leaving his employment with SECFSA and that he plans to continue this counselling including couples counselling.  Along with these undertakings, the requirement for direct practice supervision as well as 6 consultations with a senior social work practitioner with respect to issues of professionalism and the requirement to disclose information to the ACSW relating to his mental health issues to ensure his wellness will, we believe, all aid in the rehabilitation of the member’s practice.

 

The member has cooperated throughout the discipline process, has acknowledged his culpability to the allegations made and information provided indicated one of the stressors in his personal life at the time the alleged misconduct occurred were financial.  Given this, the sanctions in this order would seem fair.

 

The integrity of the profession will be maintained by the sanctions imposed.

 

Mitigating Circumstances considered:

 

The following factors were considered in making the decision and determining the sanctions noted above:

 

The member is a recent graduate for the BSW program with limited work experience (5 years) and is fairly young (age 34 years)

The member was experiencing mental health issues (depression) and personal stress related to marital discord and family concerns.

The member has taken remedial steps on his own such as counselling and looking for employment better suited to his lifestyle and personality/strengths.

There is no evidence of explicit harm to a client

The poor practice was not done purposely toward a particular self-serving outcome.

There are no previous findings of misconduct.

 

 

 

Hearing Tribunal of the

Alberta College of Social Workers

Copyright 2010 Alberta College of Social Workers