A SOCIAL worker has been suspended after obstructing an investigation into potential alleged child abuse by refusing to provide details to the St Helens Children's and Young People Service.

John Barrie Arnold has been suspended from the HCPC Register for four months on the grounds of misconduct while employed as a social worker with Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council.

A panel of the HCPC Conduct and Competence Committee found Mr Arnold responsible for hampering a Social Services investigation into potential alleged child abuse.

The panel further heard that Mr Arnold used his adult social work position to attempt to unduly influence the investigation, by expressing support for and denying the potential risk of an adult who may pose a risk to children.

Panel chair Deborah Fowler said: “The panel believes, given that it sees the lack of insight as remediable but also sees some risk of repetition, that a short period of suspension is desirable in which Mr Arnold can demonstrate whether he has developed understanding and insight into his actions.

"The panel is satisfied that a period of suspension would protect the public as Mr Arnold would be temporarily removed from the Register.”

The Panel concluded to suspend the name of John Barrie Arnold from the HCPC Register for a period of four months.

Mr Arnold was neither present nor represented at the hearing.