A Lanarkshire care worker who took £825 in bank transfers from a “vulnerable client” and sent WhatsApp messages asking for more has been given a warning.
Samantha Ferguson was reported to the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) after it was discovered that she had taken £825 from a service user.
While working as a care assistant in Lanark in February 2021, she provided a service user with the details of her Paypal account.
She received regular transfers, sometimes for as much as £100 in one go, over four months until May. She also accepted money from the client earmarked for her unnamed colleague.
Ms Ferguson also gave the client her phone number, and regularly messaged her on WhatsApp asking for transfers.
As a result, her fitness to practice was found to be impaired in a hearing by the council.
The SSSC found that her behaviour resulted in an abuse of trust and placed the service user at risk of “financial and emotional harm”.
It said: “By accepting several payments from service user AA amounting to £825, you have exploited a vulnerable service user for your own financial gain, albeit it appears to be the case that some of these payments were for your colleague YY.
“Nevertheless, your behaviour amounts to an abuse of the trust placed in you by people who use services, and this is serious.”
“While employed in a position of trust, you abused that position in order to financially benefit from a vulnerable service user,” it added.
“Your behaviour, as stated, could be viewed as fundamentally incompatible with the values of the profession.”
In conclusion, the SSSC decided to place a warning on her registration for a period of 24 months, or two years, effective from January 25.
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