Ayrshire residential childcare worker drove while using her phone - and with youngster in the car

The SSSC said Cain used her handheld mobile phone while driving a company vehicle with a young person present in the vehicle
-Credit: (Image: Western Mail)

A children’s residential care worker used a handheld phone on “several occasions” while driving with youngsters in her car.

Danielle Cain committed the road traffic offences on numerous unknown dates on or around June 13, 2022 to April 24, 2023.

The industry regulator, the Scottish Social Services Council, (SSSC) said Cain did so while working as a residential care worker with Spark of Genuis (Training) Ltd at Foxhill Cottage, Mauchline.

In their findings of fact the SSSC said Cain used her handheld mobile phone while driving a company vehicle with a young person, known only as ‘AA,’ present in the vehicle.

They told Cain: “Social service workers are expected to behave in a way, in or outside the workplace, that would not bring their suitability to work in the sector into question. They are also expected to meet the relevant standards of practice and work in a lawful, safe and effective way.

“Using your mobile phone whilst driving demonstrates a disregard for these requirements and the law.”

The regulator said Cain’s behaviour was “serious” and “breached the fundamental tenets” of the profession.

Their report goes on: “Social service workers should not place themselves or service users at risk of harm. By using a mobile phone whilst driving, you did not have your full attention on the road. The behaviour placed AA, you, and members of the public at risk of harm and falls short of the standards expected of a registered worker.”

The SSSC said there was a “concerning pattern of behaviour” from Cain as it occurred on “several occasions” with a service user present in the car.

Cain, the SSSC said, originally denied the behaviour, only admitting to it once she was made aware there was “video evidence” demonstrating her driving and using her device.

The SSSC report goes on: “You attempted to minimise your behaviour as a one-off and have failed to demonstrate any insight as to the serious implications your actions could have had. The pattern of behaviour together with the lack of insight indicates there is a risk of you repeating your actions.”

Cain has not worked in the social care sector since her misconduct allegations came to light.

The SSSC told Cain: “Whilst the behaviour occurred almost one year ago, you have been unable to demonstrate that there is no risk of repetition as you have not worked in the sector since. As you have shown a lack of understanding for the consequences of your behaviour, despite the passage of time since the behaviour occurred, it requires to being marked as unacceptable.”

The regulator placed a warning on Cain’s registration for a period of 12 months.

One condition is that she provides the SSSC with evidence that any new employer knows about the conditions on her registration. And she must submit a reflective account to the SSSC, based on the importance of not using a mobile phone when driving.

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