Don Worthington was a social worker who interviewed Len and Rita Fairclough as prospective foster parents in 1981. They were passed and a few weeks later Worthington arranged for them to foster John Spencer.
During 1982, Worthington asked the Faircloughs to take in sixteen-year-old Sharon Gaskell for a few days. Problems arose when Sharon was moved to a new longer-term home with the Boltons, and the wayward teen returned to Coronation Street as she preferred living with Rita and Len. The Faircloughs decided to apply to become Sharon's long-term foster parents but Worthington was against it as he thought Sharon was putting them in a difficult position and it wasn't fair on them. Rita managed to talk Worthington round.
In January 1986, after police broke the news to one of Rita's paper girls, Jenny Bradley, that her mother had been killed, Don was called in to get Jenny a placement in Larchfield Children's Home. Rita went on to foster Jenny, and after it was established that Jenny's father, Alan Bradley, had been traced in Leeds, he asked Rita to act as mediator between the Bradleys when Alan arrived in Weatherfield.
Don was polite and professional in his line of work, and preferred an approach of being direct and honest with the children.