A former Birmingham social worker in charge of a city children’s home has been struck off the professional register for abusing his power and carrying out “inappropriate” intimate examinations on vulnerable children.
The General Social Care Council (GSCC) heard Wladyslaw Piotr Kiczma was involved in various cases from the 1970s to the late 80s when he inspected children’s intimate areas with no professional justification.
Kiczma, a retired 65-year-old from Birmingham, did not attend the hearing to accept or deny charges last week when the case was found against him and he was banned from working in social care.
A panel was told as a qualified nurse and officer in charge of Stuart’s Road Children’s Home, in Bordesley, between 1973 and 1983, Kiczma was responsible for conducting examinations on new arrivals, mainly for scabies and lice.
But people who were under his care have come forward complaining that the social worker ordered them to strip with examinations being very intimate.
The committee accepted examinations were outside the remit of a social worker and Kiczma had failed to respect and maintain the dignity of a child and abused the trust placed in him.
Evidence included a woman, a child at the home in the early 80s, who described having to remove all her clothing for an examination, sparked after she refused to eat a meal of eggs.
Kiczma was also found in his role as a field social worker in 1986 to have physically examined a child at a home visit, in which he asked the boy to take off his clothes and then touched an inappropriate area.
The panel was told, in 2005 while seconded as a social worker for Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Trust, Kiczma asked a community psychiatric nurse to give NHS patients a card which advertised his private counselling business, in breach of his employment code.
Elizabeth Hutchinson, spokeswoman for the GSCC, said: “The committee felt no reasonable social worker would have behaved in this way and he failed to respect and maintain the dignity of the child and abused the trust placed in him. The committee decided the allegations amounted to misconduct and breached a number of areas of the Code of Practice for Social Care Workers, which social workers sign up to when they register with GSCC.”
A report on the hearing stated: “The committee took account of the fact the registrant had carried out repeated inappropriate physical examinations on vulnerable children. The registrant had breached a number of the codes, and in particular had called into question his suitability to work in social care services. He had repeatedly abused the trust placed in him by service users.
“The committee considered from all the circumstances, including the registrant’s own written submissions, that overall the registrant had demonstrated a lack of insight into his behaviour and remained in denial about the fact that his behaviour had been unacceptable.”
In defence of the actions, the hearing was told there had been an absence of guidelines and lack of support for Kiczma in the 70s and 80s and standards at the time of the allegations were less rigorous in terms of “children’s rights and boundary issues” than today.
Mike Wardle, chief executive of the GSCC, said: “As the regulator of social workers, we are able to highlight misconduct and take those who commit it to account, removing them from the profession altogether if we feel they are not suitable to work in social care.
“Fortunately, such cases are rare and the majority of social workers go about their work with integrity, compassion and professionalism.”