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Social worker banned for conning council out of £6000

Joyce Hollywood was struck off for fraudulently obtaining thousands of pounds from Fife Council.

Struck off: Joyce Hollywood falsely filled in paperwork. <strong>Pixabay</strong>
Struck off: Joyce Hollywood falsely filled in paperwork. Pixabay

A senior social worker who conned Fife Council out of £6500 has been banned from working in the care sector.

Joyce Hollywood was struck off by a Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) panel last month, who branded her actions a “significant breach of trust”.

In June 2018, Hollywood was convicted at Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court over the fraud which was carried out between February 2011 and August 2013.

While working for the local authority’s social work department, she requested money on behalf of council clients.

However, Hollywood had drawn up the forms herself and forged the clients’ signatures to pocket £6573.62 of public funds.

She was sentenced to a Community Payback Order.

Following her conviction, the SSSC found that her fitness to practise was impaired.

A presenter submitted to the panel that the offence was “extremely serious”, “premeditated and occurred over a period of time”. 

It also “breached the fundamental tenets of the profession”.

The panel highlighted that Hollywood had not cooperated with the SSSC hearing or provided any explanation or views.

The panel stated: “The panel considered that you have not shown any insight, regret or apology in relation to the conduct.

“The conduct is a significant breach of trust and you sought to conceal your wrongdoing over a period of time as evidenced by the terms of the conviction.

“In the absence of any demonstration of remorse, insight or any evidence of your attempts to remediate your conduct, the panel did not consider that they could be satisfied that the conduct or conduct of a similar nature would not be repeated.”

The panel believed a removal order was the “most appropriate sanction” to “maintain the continuing trust and confidence in the social service profession and the SSSC as the regulator of the profession”.

Following Hollywood’s removal from the register, Sharon McKenzie, head of HR at Fife Council, said: “As a responsible employer, Fife Council can’t discuss individual circumstances of current or former staff members.

“However, we take the safety and wellbeing of those in our care extremely seriously, and will always take action against inappropriate or criminal behaviour within our organisation.”

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