Personal Safety for Social Workers19 Sep 2020 - Flaaim
In the dangerous world social workers reside in these day their safety is paramount. This will guarantee the safe working environment for both workers and clients. Especially, with Covid 19 running rampant in the world, It’s critical for social workers to be working in a safe environment. Steps must be taken to guarantee the personal safety of social workers.
Hazards of the Profession
In the ever changing social profession the dynamics between the social worker and client are ever changing and there needs to be certain dynamics in place to guarantee the personal safety of the social worker and the client. Social work is a very hazardous line of work as some social workers have suffered irreversible personal injury. Some have lost their lives in the line of duty
Every social worker has the right to report any unsafe working conditions the worker may feel is a threat to their or client’s well-being. The Social worker should have the right to report unsafe work conditions without the fear of retaliation or loss of job from employers. In fact, every employer should have a proper reporting document and procedure in place. They must have clear cut guidelines for an employee to report unsafe working conditions even if it means the social worker has to report the actual place they work at.
Every social worker has the right to know that the working environment they will be going to meets all the proper safety requirements established for that particular work environment. There employer should have universal guidelines in place for every client they serve .
Safety to Perform Dangerous Tasks
One critical necessity is that when a social worker is asked or forced to perform a dangerous task there must be specific safety guidelines and a protocol in place.Especially, when the social worker is asked to remove a neglected, abused or abandoned child from an abusive home. Or the social worker is told to remove an invalid adult from a dangerous home environment. To support the safety of the social worker it would be proper to have law enforcement escort the social worker to the dangerous home setting to perform either one of these tasks. Or more informally if a female social worker is asked to remove a threatened party from an unsafe environment. A capable male social worker should be able to accompany the female social worker to the dangerous home setting.
It is critical that the public is made intimately aware of the safety risks that social workers face in their jobs. If the public is aware of safety concerns the social workers have then it will hold lawmakers, employers and policymakers responsible to make sure proper safety guidelines are in place. To cover every conceivable dangerous circumstance that may face the social worker.
Every employer or social work agency should have an active safety committee in place. The committee would be responsible for setting safety guidelines, rules and protocols in place for that particular agency. The committee should be given the power to design and enforce these safety guidelines in the workplace for social workers to fall back on. The employees will also know what the safety regulations are currently in place.
Lastly, with social worker demand to increase by 25% in the future it is imperative that social workers safety rights are put into place for their protection. This way they can perform their tasks with peace of mind and a feeling of being safe on their jobs.