Social worker in abuse claim case retires before watchdog’s ruling

A SOCIAL worker under investigation for allegedly mishandling child abuse claims three decades ago has retired before a watchdog can rule on the case.

Ayrshire social worker left his post in September, 2016, three months after the social services watchdog launched an initial investigation into claims he failed to remove 13-year-old Richard Tracey from a foster home despite acknowledging he was being “beaten”.

It is also alleged the social worker disregarded allegations that Mr Tracey was being sexually abused.

Mr Tracey has demanded that watchdog body the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) take action against the social worker who he says failed to protect him.

After launching an investigation in the summer of last year, the SSSC announced it would not take action against the social worker but revealed in June that the case would be re-opened.

The Herald has now discovered that the social worker retired in September, last year, while his name had come off the official register of social workers.

Today, Mr Tracey said he was “fuming” that the authorities failed to notify him that the social worker had retired.

“If there were to be any sanctions now it would be too little and too late
“It is about time that the SSSC did it’s job. I am just very angry and frustrated.”

Now 48, Mr Tracey was taken into care aged two and claims he was physically abused when in foster care by his late foster father and later in an Ayrshire children’s home.

He further claims he was regularly sexually abused by a friend of his deceased foster father.

These claims of assault in residential care are confirmed by his social work case files from the early 1980s, while the claims of sexual abuse are also recorded.

As a result, Mr Tracey complained about Hugh Quinn and has since accused Scotland’s social services watchdog of shielding a social worker who left him exposed to violence and abuse.

Former Scottish Labour Party leader Johann Lamont, who is concerned about the delays in the case, is seeking a meeting with Deputy First Minister John Swinney to secure answers over the SSSC’s role in the historic complaints.

There is no time bar to prevent cases of alleged social worker neglect being heard, Mr Swinney said.

The SSSC has said that Mr Quinn’s retirement would would not impact on any possible sanction.

Ms Lamont, an MSP for Glasgow, said: “I have concerns about the role of the SSSC in handling complaints such as these.

“The role of the SSSC in investigating historic complaints against someone who is still practising needs to be clear.”

An SSSC spokeswoman said: “With all of our investigations, if, at a later date, further information becomes available that could affect a decision, we will reopen the case.

The Herald made attempts to contact Mr Quinn but he was unavailable for comment. http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/15596301.Social_worker_in_abuse_claim_case_retires_before_watchdog_s_ruling/

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