Carer warned over messages and calls to young person about her love life

The Scottish Social Services Council handed Tracey Taylor a warning on her registration for a period of two years.

Wick carer breached professional boundaries by contacting young person about love life iStock

A carer who breached professional boundaries with a young person by messaging and calling her about her love life has received a warning from a social services watchdog.

Tracey Taylor was working as a manager at a residential child care service run by Highland Council in Wick when the incidents occurred between 2018 and 2019.

The Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) found that Taylor breached professional boundaries with young person by messaging and calling her on Facebook messenger.

On or around Boxing Day in 2018, Taylor phoned the girl outside of her working hours.

In August 2019, she messaged the same girl about her love life on Facebook messenger.

In the messages she told the young person: “Well I came out myself. Contractor at my table who was the mate of the guy I was supposed to meet and now he’s here but not letting on he knows me so clearly married. Ragin and story of my life.” 

She added: “One day I’ll meet someone decent, available, handsome and generous?! And if that happened, I’ll have a pet unicorn xx” 

And also said: “Honest to god. I will die alone, wifi wrinkles and fat! Xx” 

Later that year, on or around October 30, Taylor again messaged the girl again to complain about her love life.

She stated: “Ugh… Well he’s fobbed me for tonight and tomorrow so its an absolute non-starter… I shouldn’t have told you!!! Lol xx” 

“Never. My romantic life is either a traffic jamas going nowhere or a runaway train, wreckless and dodgy! Xx” 

The following month in a phone call to the girl outside of working hours, Taylor allowed her to speak to a male who was unknown to her.

The girl made a formal complaint against Taylor, who then contacted her by telephone to discuss the matter when she found out.

The young person claimed that the incidents had caused her emotional distress and a decision was made by the SSSC that Taylor’s fitness to practice was impaired because of her misconduct.

The watchdog said that “social service workers are expected to maintain appropriate professional boundaries with service users they support”, and by contacting the young person outside of working hours and sharing information about her private life, this was breached.

The actions by Taylor were “inappropriate and misjudged” the decision panel said and “amounted to a breach of the trust” placed in her by the young person and her employer.

The panel added: “Such behaviour created a misguided and unrealistic expectation on her part, which could lead her to believe that all social service workers would treat her in this way.”

Concerns were raised about Taylor’s underlying values and attitudes due to the behaviours “not being isolated” and warned that her actions could impact the young person’s “ability to trust others in the future”.

The SSSC handed Taylor a warning on her registration for a period of two years.

Within three months she must also undertake refresher learning which must cover the SSSC Codes of Practice, health and social care standards and professional boundaries.

The watchdog noted that in Taylor’s favour admitted responsibility for her behaviour and “fully accepted” that she failed to maintain appropriate professional boundaries and “demonstrated genuine remorse at the effect the relationship has had on the young person”.

A Highland Council spokesperson said: “We do not comment on personnel matters or clients.

“The Highland Council notes the SSSC decision and provides assurance that young peoples’ safety is paramount. We have reviewed this decision to ensure that our policies and practises are robust.”

STV News is now on WhatsApp

Get all the latest news from around the country

Follow STV News
Follow STV News on WhatsApp

Scan the QR code on your mobile device for all the latest news from around the country

WhatsApp channel QR Code
Posted in