|Disgraced Dumfries child care worker struck off after “grooming” concerns|
|Written by The Dumfries Standard|
|Friday, 10 August 2012|
A DUMFRIES care home worker has been struck off after concerns he was “grooming” a vulnerable child. Scott Millar, 46, breached several regulations while employed as a care worker in a home for troubled children.
The centre, near Dumfries, cares for youngsters who have experienced extreme trauma and, in some cases, serious sexual abuse, and is run by Lockerbie-based Common Thread.
At a Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) hearing in Dundee last month, Millar was found guilty of nine misconduct charges.
And the SSSC panel concluded on Monday that Millar should not be allowed to remain on the register of childcare workers and a removal order was issued.
The charges that Millar faced included allowing some children to drink alcohol on Christmas Day 2009 and letting a boy smoke cannabis, both at Dalveen House, Dumfries.
Documents also show that “on various occasions” Miller gave gifts to a “vulnerable” girl referred to as BB.
The girl claimed that Millar confided in her that he was cheating on his wife after he gave her make-up worth £50.
He texted her after she left care and met her at McDonalds in Dumfries in October 2010, despite strict instructions not to contact her.
Common Thread boss Julie Joseph told the hearing: “Giving is one of the first strategies of grooming.
“This is followed by telling a child secrets and making them feel special.
“My experience and research would say this is classically grooming behaviour.”
Millar also faced a charge of being in a state of undress with a girl named AA.
He also allowed AA to straddle him as she bounced on his knee, resulting in a “sexualised conversation” taking place.
A previous colleague of Millar’s also said at the hearing that the disgraced care worker asked AA if he was using a “request for assistance as an excuse to get him into her bedroom”.
Millar did not attend the hearing but SSSC solicitor Maree Allison read a statement from him.
In it he claimed he only let the children have soft drinks and did not realise they had smoked cannabis.
His statement added: “I will never seek work in this sector again because it’s shown me how much people can twist things.”
Following the SSSC decision, Millar’s previous employers said: “Common Thread provides specialist residential child-care services to young people who have experienced significant trauma, abuse and neglect during their childhood.
“These young people enjoy very high levels of care and supervision from experienced, trained and registered care workers as our primary concern is for their safety and welfare.
“Common Thread is aware of the issues relating to Mr Millar which came to light after he left their employment. Common Thread have strict procedures that are adopted for the safety of those in their care and as a result of their governance Mr Millar’s actions were reported to both the police and social services and their evidence has helped to secure this outcome.
“Common Thread never discloses information about young people within their care.”
Millar has two weeks to appeal the SSSC decision.