A judge has taken the extraordinary step of naming social workers who took part in an attempted “cover up” to keep five children from living with their parents. One social worker’s report was rewritten by a colleague and a manager to present the parents in a poorer light, Judge Mark Horton found. He also accused social workers of lying under oath. In an scathing ruling, the judge condemned the conduct of social workers at Hampshire County Council involved in the case, which related to five Portsmouth siblings aged between three and 16 in foster care.
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He said: “It is exceptional to find a case in which there has been deliberate and calculated alteration of a report prepared by one social worker in order to make that assessment seem less favourable, by another social worker and the team manager; the withholding of the original report when it was ordered to be disclosed and the parties to the alterations lying on oath one of them twice, in order to try to cover up the existence of the original report.”