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Personal Safety for Social Workers and Health Professionals

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Tags: Nursing, Social Work

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Personal Safety for Social Workers and Health Professionals

AUTHOR : By Brian Atkins

ISBN : 9781909330337

Publication : May 28, 2013

Extent : 144 pgs

ISBN : 9781909330344

Edition No : 1

Publication : May 8, 2013

Extent : 144 pgs

ISBN : 9781909330351

Edition No : 1

Publication : May 27, 2013

Extent : 144 pgs

ISBN : 9781909330368

Edition No : 1

Publication : May 8, 2013

Extent : 144 pgs


Social workers and health professionals are often placed in situations where they are verbally or physically threatened by service users and others.This book helps you 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


Brian Atkins BSc, CQSW, MBA is an experienced social work practitioner and manager and has worked in a range of social care services including children’s services fieldwork, child protection, residential care, leaving care services, family placement and youth offending. He has also worked as a policy and planning manager with an English local authority. 


Brian has worked as an independent consultant since 1996. His consultancy experience includes service review in a range of settings, including child protection, children looked after, criminal justice partnerships, youth offending, disability including learning disability. He has also led in the development of service user empowerment programmes, on systems review projects in social care and health organisations and in the construction of statutory plans.


Brian is also an experienced staff safety and managing challenging behaviour consultant, and is particularly interested in developing management approaches to this strategically important area. 

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