A Hounslow social worker, who formed an innapropriate personal relationship with the father of a child she was supervising, has been banned from practising.

An independent committee of the General Social Care Council (GSCC) found misconduct against Virginia Leckie for forming the relationship and for dishonesty.

Virginia Leckie, who worked for Hounslow Social Services, was found to have formed an inappropriate personal relationship with the father of a young person on the Child Protection Register, to whom she was the allocated social worker. She also failed to inform her employer of her continued relationship with him.

The committee, which concluded its hearing on Monday, April 7, noted that during the relationship the woman prepared a number of reports on the child for care proceedings and child protection case conferences.

The committee found she failed to acknowledge the depth of the conflict of interest and dishonesty of her actions.

Ms Leckie was also found guilty of failing to inform a subsequent employer that she had worked for Hounslow Social Services and failing to disclose the information in her application to register with the council.

Sir Rodney Brooke, chairman of the GSCC, said: "Social workers are in a unique position of responsibility and trust.

"Thankfully, the vast majority of the 80,000 social workers on our register are honest, professional and perform an invaluable role in society.

"However, there are instances when social workers cross professional boundaries and act in a way that calls into question their suitability to practise.

"In these cases, it is the GSCC's responsibility to investigate and take action to ensure professional standards are maintained and the public is protected."

Removal from the register means that Ms Leckie will not be able to practise as a social worker.

She has a right of appeal to the independent Care Standards Tribunal (CST).

A spokesman for Hounslow Council said: "Ms Leckie was engaged by Hounslow Council as a locum agency worker more than seven years ago.

"When inappropriate practise was identified, her agency placement was immediately terminated.

"Hounslow Council is committed to the highest standards of care for its vulnerable children, and always engages registered social workers who are dedicated to this ethos.

"If social workers are found to be practising unprofessionally, we have rigorous procedures in place to ensure that they are dealt with appropriately."