Childcare worker struck off for sending shower snap to vulnerable girl

Paul Robertson repeatedly contacted the youngster via social media in an effort to strike up conversations.

Childcare worker Paul Robertson struck off for sending inappropriate messages to vulnerable girl iStock
Shower: Paul Robertson sent an inappropriate picture via Snapchat.

A childcare worker has been struck off for sending inappropriate messages to a vulnerable girl he used to care for.

Paul Robertson repeatedly contacted the youngster via Messenger in an effort to strike up conversations.

When questioned by the girl whether he would get fired for messaging her, he replied that he didn’t think so as she was no longer under his work’s care or words to that effect.

He also ‘joked’ it would depend on whether she told her new carers that he was “annoying” her.

On another occasion, Robertson sent a photo via Snapchat.

The picture showed him bare-chested in a bathroom with the caption “ok shower buddy send me a snap xx” or words to that effect.

He used a ‘devil-type’ filter which gave him a red face and body as well as black horns.

Robertson contacted the girl between April and May 2019 while employed as a residential care worker in Montrose, Angus.

Although the girl was no longer in his care, the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) ruled that it was an “abuse of trust and position”.

In a written ruling published this month, the watchdog found Robertson’s fitness to practise impaired.

The SSSC stated that the messages “breached a professional boundary”.

The watchdog added: “By sending unsolicited messages to [the girl] you have demonstrated a failure to recognise and respect [her] vulnerability.

“This was also a breach of the trust and confidence placed in you by your employer.

“The messages were likely to be seen as intimidating and forward and not of a nature which would be expected from someone who had previously had a formal care relationship with [the girl].

“This behaviour was an abuse of your position, a misuse of the power of that position and exploited the vulnerability of [the girl].”

The SSSC claimed Robertson failed to demonstrate sufficient insight into his behaviour and failed to acknowledge the potential impact of his actions on the girl.

In conclusion, the watchdog said 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”.

The removal order came into effect on February 24.