‘It was an amazing moment’: Social worker gloats on Facebook over breaking up a family and revelling in the ‘massive rollicking’ the judge gave the parents, says report by the Mail Online
‘A social worker gloated about having three children taken into care on her publicly accessible Facebook page.
Siobhan Condon, 41, bragged about the power she felt at breaking up the family and revelled in the judge giving the parents a ‘massive rollicking’.
She even referred to the solicitor in the case complimenting her ‘fine nails and shoes’ before saying she was about to ‘do the mammoth grim task’ of removing the youngsters from their home and signing off with three kisses.
The children, all aged under ten at the time, were put into foster care following the court hearing last year.
Their mother reported Miss Condon’s comments to Essex County Council after spotting them on the social worker’s Facebook page, which was open to the public and gave enough information to identify the family.
Family proceedings are normally held behind closed doors and shrouded in secrecy.
The Health and Care Professional Council found Miss Condon guilty of misconduct and the local authority decided not to renew her contract.
However, she has not been struck off. Instead, she must be closely monitored by a line manager for a year.
Tory MP Simon Burns yesterday questioned the leniency of the punishment, saying: ‘There are some very difficult cases … where there are no winners and it seems incredible that someone in a position of trust and responsibility should post information on Facebook … to gloat is totally inappropriate.
‘I find it quite staggering and do question whether simply monitoring someone who does this is right.’
The case of ‘Family A’ was heard at Chelmsford Crown Court on May 9 last year. Miss Condon, who has a young daughter, posted comments the night before, speculating about whether the judge ‘might question my zero tolerance to domestic violence’.
The next day, after the case ended, the senior social worker who qualified in 1999, wrote: ‘Just experienced His Honour Judge [sic] give parents a massive rollicking. It was an amazing and extraordinary moment in my career and he complimented my court evidence.’
She added: ‘Me and [unnamed person] are reflecting on how the solicitor commented on [how] fine nails and shoes appear to be a requirement of our team lol. Anyway of [sic] now to do the mammoth grim task fingers crossed xxx.’
Miss Condon later wrote: ‘Its [sic] powerful to know that … children’s lives have been massively changed for the better.’
The council’s conduct committee heard the children’s mother, ‘Mrs A’, made a complaint on May 17.
A senior manager used Google to look for evidence and found the comments, despite not being a Facebook friend of Miss Condon’s. He reported that Mr and Mrs A were ‘upset and angry’.
Miss Condon claimed she thought a privacy setting on her account meant her entries could only be read by her friends. But the committee noted that even if this were true, around 70 of them were not involved in social care and the family were identifiable.
Last week the committee concluded her conduct fell ‘seriously below’ expected standards as the postings were ‘disrespectful and demonstrated poor judgment’.
Miss Condon, who now works for the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham according to a friend, declined to comment. Essex council has apologised to Mr and Mrs A for her conduct.’