A care worker has been struck off after he “regularly used” sexual innuendos in front of vulnerable young people and wore their underwear on his head.
Steven Currie was employed as a residential child care worker by Inspire Scotland in Cumnock, Ayrshire when the incidents occurred between May 2019 and September 2021.
In around September 2020, Currie told one girl, known as AA, to put her “tat tats” away, referring to her breasts, while going to bed.
It was also found that on more than one occasion, in the presence of colleagues and young people, Currie put young people’s underwear on his head, and sang songs with sexual references, including but not limited to “it wasn’t the grass that tickled her a**e it was my finger” or words to that effect.
In a hearing by the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC), there were also claims that Currie regularly used sexual innuendos including but not limited to in or around January 2020, while sat at the dining table in the presence of a young person, only known as BB.
He sat slowly peeling a banana while saying “one skin, two skin, three skin, four skin” or words to that effect, then asking “how many skins does a banana have?” or words to that effect
On another occasion, he made thrusting motions with his groin, before saying: “I can’t wait to get home.”
The SSSC decision determined that Currie’s fitness to practise had been “impaired” because of his “misconduct”.
The watchdog said that Currie showed a “serious disregard for the boundaries in place to protect the fundamental relationship of trust and care between workers and vulnerable young people”.
In the hearing decision, the SSSC wrote: “Regular use of sexual innuendo in the presence of young people and colleagues, as well as passing comment on a young person’s breasts, shows a serious disregard for the boundaries in place to protect the fundamental relationship of trust and care between workers and vulnerable young people.
“It also shows a serious disregard for the emotional welfare of the young people in your care, who have the right to expect professional and role-modelling behaviour from their carers.”
The watchdog said that Currie’s behaviour “risked emotional and psychological harm to the vulnerable, young individuals, as well as damage to the relationships these young people had – and would have – with social care workers”.
Currie was described as an “experienced residential child care worker” in the report which said that he accepted some of his behaviour, set out in the allegations, was “inappropriate” but denied “all other behaviour”.
The SSSC added that there were “serious concerns that the behaviour would be repeated”, further placing vulnerable young people at risk of emotional and psychological harm.
It was concluded that, since Currie had acted deliberately, risked emotional and psychological harm to vulnerable young people, failed to show insight, had a pattern of concerning and serious behaviour, and did not cooperate with the SSSC investigation, he would be removed from the register effective May 14.
A spokesperson for Inspire Scotland said: “We investigated the member of staff in question as soon as allegations about his behaviour were made to us.
“As a result of our enquiries, he resigned in October 2021 before disciplinary action could be taken against him.
“In compliance with SSSC regulations, we reported the results of our internal investigation to them immediately.”