Personal Safety for Social Workers and Health Professionals

Health and Well Being
Health Care
Social Work
Health and Social Care
Practitioner Support

Posted: 20 June 2017
Telephone: 01727 851 462

Social workers and health professionals are often placed in situations where they are verbally or physically threatened by service users and others.This book will help them recognise potential risk in situations, when to avoid involvement, and how best to manage these risks. The book will give professionals confidence in working effectively in such conditions .

The book covers the theoretical understanding of the impact of threats on professional safety and decision-making, including:

- the reality of the experience of social workers and other professionals – statistics and case examples
- the impact of physical and psychological threat
- hostage theory as it applies to social work

It also addresses actions that workers can take to greatly reduce risk such as:

- improving safety awareness
- teamwork support
- supervision
- organisational responses and the duty of care of employers

Practical steps that workers can take to protect themselves are explained  including:

- conflict management, diffusion and de-escalation techniques
- basic self-protection –very simple defence mechanisms

This book will appeal to both practitioners and students. It helps students to become aware of the factors which may affect judgement in child protection cases and assist in managing cases on placement. It helps professional practitioners in managing the anxieties associated with their current case load and provides strategies to manage these unfortunately common workplace experiences.


Introduction – the extent of violence against social workers.

The psychological impact of threat and violence on decision-making.

What practitioners can do to keep themselves safe. 

What organisations can do to keep staff safe.

What practitioners can do keep themselves safe in an incident

Post incident responses

Links to working with resistant families

Staff safety training

Working in non-responsive institutions

Summary of issues

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