Safety for Social Workers
This paper is a report on the safety concerns for social workers who are required to work with clients in their homes or in other vulnerable places. The profession requires support for clients in many different settings that may involve a risk of violence to the social worker. Threats and violence are occurring more and more often towards social workers, in particular towards child welfare workers. Child welfare workers are required to attend client’s homes on a regular basis for various reasons. Social workers are often put in compromising positions and it is important that they are prepared and alert should a threatening incident occur. Due to the growing concerns for protection on the job, strategies have been developed to address the risk involved in performing child welfare duties. The strategies will give the social worker the knowledge to be prepared and the tools to deal with a potential threat or act of violence. Taking deliberate and planned precautions will greatly decrease the chance of threats or violence towards child welfare workers. Agencies also play an important role in the personal safety of their social workers. Together, the agency, social worker and the supervisor are committed to ensuring safety prevention programs are in place.
When it comes to the topic of safety in the workplace, most of us will readily agree that this has been an ongoing area of concern for child welfare workers. Frequently, social workers have been put in compromising situations because the duties and responsibilities of the profession require them to do so. Child welfare workers assess, investigate, and have face to face contact with their clients; historically, this has been routinely done in the client’s home. Because of the presenting risk factors, strategies have been developed to aid the social worker in reducing risks and keeping personal safety practise at the forefront.
The risk of violence and/or threats...