Eastbourne and Hastings social worker suspended

A social worker has been suspended for four months by the industry’s watchdog..


Alison Jean Gulliver was suspended for dishonest conduct following a five day remote hearing conducted by Social Work England.

In the hearing’s outcome published on line, Social Work England found a number of allegations against Allison Gulliver proven while others were not proved.

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The allegations were that during her work as a social worker for East Sussex County Council’s fostering service, Ms Gulliver did not declare her own private business Sunlight Families and that of another person, that she demonstrated poor professional judgement by undertaking work in relation to her private business, sought to recommend another business for a service user of the council, breached confidentiality by sending sensitive information to her private email address on two occasions in 2014 and 2016 and to the other business’s private email address in 2015.

The panel was also told Ms Gulliver had entered into a personal relationship with a foster carer.

The actions were alleged by Social Work England as dishonest and that the matters alleged amounted to misconduct.

In its finding, the panel said, “The panel concluded that no service user had been put at unwarranted risk of harm by Ms Gulliver’s actions and given her express reflections and remorse in her written statement, there was no expectation this would happen in the future.

“The panel considered that the mitigating factors in this case were that no service user had actually been put at risk by Ms Gulliver’s misconduct and that at the time Ms Gulliver had personal health issues and domestic circumstances with which to contend. The panel considered that it was a mitigating feature that no payments had actually been made to Ms Gulliver or any financial gain made by any of the businesses referred to in the matters proved against her.

“The panel concluded that Ms Gulliver had demonstrated consistently poor judgement in her dealings with the council, both in relation to the conflict-of-interest and dealing with a professional colleague. The panel noted the degree of remorse that Ms Gulliver had demonstrated in writing and that she had learned lessons upon reflection and that she had partial insight and had demonstrated partial remediation in the detailed written observations and evidence that she had given.

“The panel concluded that there was little likelihood of repetition insofar as bringing the social work profession into disrepute and breaching one of the fundamental tenets of the profession. Accordingly, the panel decided that her current fitness to practice was not impaired.”

“Finally, by way of mitigation, Ms Gulliver had fully engaged with the regulatory process, including giving evidence at the final hearing.”

Mr Gulliver said her ethics both of as a social worker and as an ordained Buddhist would not lead to ever knowingly deceive anyone.