A FORMER Southend social worker has been struck off after having a sexual relationship with a grandad she had been asked to assess.

Julie Bradley was called before a five-day hearing of the health and care professions tribunal service for misconduct after forming an unprofessional relationship.

It was revealed that Ms Bradley had entered a sexual relationship with a man she had been asked to assess, in relation to taking custody of his granddaughter.

The child’s mother had previously been judged as “unable to provide appropriate care”.

The incident was reported after Ms Bradley disclosed details in a text to a friend.

The text read: “Ive been very naughty. No one knows.

“I was asked to assess a grandad to have his granddaughter. It was a [foregone] conclusion…but I had to meet up with him quite a bit and he started flirting. I kept knocking him back.

“The assessments all gone thru and he’s going to have her. But he then started coming on strong.

“Anyway the flirting got out of hand and…well stupidly we did. I know [I] know. But its happened and we both like the naughtiness of it. Its just sex…I know about and have met his girlfriend.

“But we click lol. Its so bad I know”.

In the same conversation, Miss Bradley also sent a picture of the grandfather, and his granddaughter to the friend, admitting “I’m not supposed to have that”.

Ms Bradley was initially appointed as the social worker for the case in April 2016, and texts sent on June 8 and August 18.

In December 2016, she told a friend that she “had a secret lover”.

In August, at a staff leaving party, a colleague that Ms Bradley had previously divulged details to, told other colleagues, as well as a team manager, that she had concerns, and the following week the team manager was informed of all the details.

The next day, August 23, Miss Bradley was suspended by Southend Council.

Ms Bradley was struck off from health care register as a result of last week’s hearing.

The decision notice read: “In this case, it is submitted that the registrant’s conduct did indeed fall seriously short of what would be proper. As a professional social worker, for the registrant to cross that professional boundary and to have a sexual relationship with a family member of a child on her case load, in fact with a family member with whom she had conducted an in-depth assessment, was entirely inappropriate.

“As was the sharing of the photo of the child and her grandfather with her friend, especially in the context of bragging about her sexual exploits.

“As a professional social worker her focus should have been on the best interests of the child. In fact her actions had a very real potential to negatively impact the interests of the child: the integrity of her professional assessment of service user A’s suitability to care for his grandchild could have been called into question.

“She crossed lines which should not have been crossed and indeed she crossed those lines knowing that what she was doing was wrong.”

Four hearings took place throughout 2018.

Each hearing resulted in an interim suspension for Mrs Bradley.

A spokesman for Southend Council said: “We suspended the member of staff in question as soon as we became aware of an allegation of an inappropriate relationship between a member of staff and a client.

“We launched an internal investigation immediately.”