A residential child care worker in Ayrshire has been struck off for threatening to ‘ragdoll’ a child in his care.
Steven Chapman, whose city of employment was Mauchline, then pushed the 13-year-old boy towards his car by placing a hand on his neck and one on his arm.
He admonished the child, “I’ll f*****g you ragdoll about school,” or words to that effect.
Chapman then allegedly said, “I’m f*****g soaked now because of you,” or words to that effect.
Details of Chapman’s behavior emerged today from the conclusion of an investigation by the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC).
The incident happened on or around September 11, 2020 while Chapman was employed by Spark of Genius – which provides residential care at a number of sites in Ayrshire.
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Chapman was reputed to have “lost control”; was “verbally abusive” and his actions bordered on “physical abuse”.
In its report, the SSSC told Chapman, “You [Chapman] have been verbally abusive to a child in your care.
“Your actions, in holding the child by the neck and arm, could be considered borderline physical abuse.
“Your actions indicate a loss of self-control in the face of challenging behavior.”
The SSSC said it did not know if the child suffered emotional or physical harm, but said there was a “risk” it “could have happened”.
The report continues: “The child involved may have been reluctant to engage with other staff for fear of being talked to and treated the same way.”
In another criticism of Chapman’s actions, the SSSC said it “did not acknowledge” the seriousness of his behavior and the “potential impact” it could have had on the child and that it did not had provided “no guarantees” that he would act differently in the future. .
Chapman, who is no longer employed by Spark of Genius, claimed the situation was taken “completely out of context” and that the “ragdolling” comment was a “joke”.
The SSSC report continues: “Social workers often find themselves in difficult situations with the children in their care.
“That’s to be expected in this type of work, especially in light of the various vulnerabilities children can have. There is a risk that if you were faced with a similar predicament in the future, the behavior would reoccur.
The governing body also said Chapman’s behavior fell “well below the standards expected” of social service workers and was “serious”.
He added: “Your actions demonstrate a loss of self-control.”
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