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Tag Archives: safety

NASW Illinois Chapter Statement on the death of Pamela Knight


The NASW-Illinois Chapter expresses its deepest condolences to the family of Pamela Knight. Ms. Knight died last week as a result of injuries suffered during an attack on her in September 2017 while working to protect children in her capacity as an investigator for the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). Every day social workers across the United ... Read More »

NASW California Statement on Indictment of DCFS workers

The news that four Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) workers have been indicted for criminal child abuse and falsification of documents in a 2013 case shook the social work world not just in California but across the country. A child death is a tragedy and we all mourn the loss of Gabriel. At the same ... Read More »

North Dakota Chapter creates safety training course

By Paul R. Pace, News staff NASW continues to help social workers and other human-service professionals learn how to be safe performing their jobs. Some of the latest efforts are taking place at the NASW North Dakota Chapter. Chapter Executive Director Nancy Miller said they used funds from an unrestricted grant to team up with the North Dakota Safety Council ... Read More »

NASW joins White House to help reduce gun violence

By Paul R. Pace, News staff NASW has been active in White House efforts to reduce gun violence in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings that took place in December in Newtown, Conn. NASW CEO Elizabeth J. Clark participated in a White House meeting with mental health groups, where she met with Vice President Joe Biden’s task ... Read More »

Training important for safety on the job

By Rena Malai, News staff Larry Betcher knows firsthand the danger a social worker can encounter on the job, as one of his clients once flashed a butcher knife at him during an at-home visit. This is one reason safety training is so important for social workers, said Betcher, an NASW board member. “Social workers work with a wide range ... Read More »

NASW’s Continued Response to Sandy Hook

In the last two weeks NASW has participated in several activities in the wake of the Sandy Hook tragedy.  Last week, NASW CEO Betsy Clark participated in the White House meeting with mental health groups where she met with Vice President Biden’s Task Force.  Since then, NASW has remained engaged in ongoing efforts with the Obama Administration and the mental ... Read More »

Q&A NASW Lunchtime Webinar Client Violence and Social Worker Safety

Excerpts below are from the NASW Lunchtime Series live webinar on the social work safety. NASW members can download the on demand audio recording or read the transcript by visiting the Lunchtime Series page for details. CE credit is also available. Q: After a client has been violent or threatening, do you recommend terminating service and/or getting a peace/restraining order? A: That has to be determined on a case by case basis depending upon the circumstances and seriousness of the threat or the violent behavior. In these kinds of situations, it is very important to consult with your supervisor and/or experienced colleagues about what decision to make. Sometimes it is also helpful to consult with someone from your local police department who has expertise in advising when to use a restraining order. Restraining orders can be useful but they also can provoke further anger. Termination of service can take a number of forms including: (1) referral to a different provider within the same service; (2) referral to a different service; (3) temporary suspension of service pending restitution; (4) providing service only if accompanied by law enforcement; or (5) permanent termination of service. Q: Did your study identify if respondents had been provided a critical incident stress debriefing following an attack or threat and if so, any differences in their emotional reactions? A: I didn’t ask about whether the respondents had been provided with a critical incident stress debriefing per se, but I did ask how others in the agency responded to the incident and many respondents indicated that they had received a debriefing. Q: Can you be more specific about what "young age" means? A: Young age in this area is defined as between 15 years old and 40 years old. The highest risk sub-range is between 15 and 24 years of age. Q: I work in a domestic violence program. Are you aware of any research studies that examine social worker safety in this setting? A: Dr. Hanae Kanno and I published an article in 2009 that addresses client violence in the domestic violence field. The reference is: Kanno, H. & Newhill, C.E. (2009). Social workers and battered women: The need to study client violence in the domestic violence field. Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment and Trauma, 18, 46-63. Q: If a client is intoxicated shouldn't you refuse to interview until they're sober? A: Yes, you should wait to interview the client until they are sober. Q: Why do males have a greater risk? A: What my data showed is that the men were more likely to work in the highest risk settings (criminal justice settings, substance use/abuse services, and children & youth/child protective services) than the women social workers. In these settings, 75% or more of the respondents reported they had experienced at least one incident of client violence. More significant, I think, is the fact that the male respondents told me anecdotally in the survey, that they were more likely to be assigned violent and aggressive clients on their caseloads than their female counterparts and that they were often called in to intervene in situations involving a violent client if the assigned worker was female. Thus, agencies may be “using” male social workers as an ad hoc security force but without providing them with specialized training to handle these additional responsibilities or giving them hazard pay to compensate for their taking on more risk in their work. The men felt they could not say no because they were men and they felt they had no choice or would be viewed negatively if they said no. I also speculate that, because of social and cultural norms, clients may view violence toward a woman social worker as more taboo and, thus, are less inclined to strike out at a woman than strike out at a man. Q: I do substance abuse groups in the evenings with criminal offenders. I am the only staff in the building during this time. Therefore, awareness of the potential for violence is imperative. Do you have any suggestions for me in protecting myself and others in this environment? A: Working alone with substance abusing criminal offenders at night is an extremely high risk situation. My suggestion is to ask for another staff person to work with you as a team and make sure both of you have silent alarms installed on your belts that you can activate if needed. If the agency refuses to grant that request, I would refuse to continue conducting the groups at night alone, and insist that the groups be held during the day when other staff is around. I know this may sound extreme, but we have to set limits when agencies request that we work in an unsafe manner. I have seen too many instances in which agencies don’t improve safety until after a staff person is seriously injured and that has to stop. We must be pro-active and preventive in our efforts and make changes before an incident occurs, not afterwards. This is often compounded by agency administrators who have never worked on the "front lines" and, thus, don't appreciate or understand the risks that direct services social workers face. Read More »

Social Worker Safety NASW's Lunchtime Webinar Excerpt

The excerpt below is from the NASW's Lunchtime webinar on social worker safety. NASW’s members click here for more details. read more Client Violence and Social Worker Safety But what I think you can conclude by what buy cialis I have shared with you so far is first of all, client violence towards social workers is not a rare event. ... Read More »

NASW's Lunchtime Series Webinar on Social Worker Safety

Client Violence and Social Worker Safety how to learn arabic online Thursday, February 17, 2011 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM ET Credit Hours: 1 CE(s) This webinar addresses the need someone write my paper problem of client violence toward social workers across practice settings, with the online casino goal of raising participants’ awareness about their risk for encountering violence, learning ... Read More »