Laura Sharman 06 June 2018

Calls to protect social workers from 'escalating violence'

Calls to protect social workers from escalating violence image

Social workers should receive the same legal protection from violence as emergency workers, according to sector bodies.

The Social Workers Union (SWU) and the British Association of Social Workers (BASW) are calling for an urgent amendment to a new Assaults on Emergency Workers (offence) Bill to include social workers and mental health professionals.

'Social workers are the forgotten emergency service,' said SWU general secretary John McGowan. 'We support people and families of all ages, 365 days a year, in very difficult circumstances. Our clients increase in number year on year, at the same time as funding is repeatedly slashed.

'Nevertheless, social workers and approved mental health professionals (AMHPS) ensure vulnerable people receive the care, support and protection they need, in collaboration with their family and friends, often under difficult and sometimes dangerous circumstances – just as a new study from our Northern Ireland branch clearly shows. We urgently need an amendment to add social workers to this bill.'

A study produced by the Northern Ireland branch of BASW revealed that half of social workers have been subject to violence. Of those responding, 86% have experienced intimidation and 75% have received threats.

Carolyn Ewart, BASW Northern Ireland country manager, said: 'Our research details the scale of threats and violence experienced by social workers, which includes physical attacks and threats to kill.

'Social workers also told us about the debilitating impacts of intimidating behaviour, often in the form of implied threats, for example, a service user seeking to instil fear of attack by explaining they know where their social worker lives or where their children go to school. The scope of the problem and the consequences for social workers, as well as their families, is very worrying.'

Developing a cohesive council workforce image

Developing a cohesive council workforce

With council workers, increasingly being asked to deliver more with less, Alexander Carlton discusses the role of technology in creating a cohesive workforce.
Re-write the rules of recruitment image

Re-write the rules of recruitment

Anne-Marie Scott offers her predictions for public sector recruitment challenges for 2020 and asks, ‘how do we recruit the right candidates?’
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Casual Leisure Assistant (Lifeguard)

London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth
£10.55 per hour, plus holiday relief pay allowance
Are you a friendly and confident communicator who enjoys meeting people and providing great service? London (Greater)
Recuriter: London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth

Service Manager - A&I and CYPWD

Essex County Council
We're serious about social work at Essex County Council. It's demanding, it's complex, but it's also hugely fulfilling. Here you'll have time to be th England, Essex, Harlow
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Senior Family Hub Practitioner

The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council
£30,300 - £40,900 per annum
We are looking for two vibrant and motivated Senior Family Hub Practitioners to work within the Early Help Service supporting the... Kensington and Chelsea, London (Greater)
Recuriter: The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council

Tenancy Enforcement Assistant x3

Royal Borough of Greenwich
£22.377 - £23.607
We are looking for individuals who have an interest in the environment with good customer service skills, flexible approach to... Greenwich, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Public Safety Officer

Brent Council
£35,724 - £41,706 p.a. inc.
We are looking for an experienced and competent officer to carry out inspections, surveys and investigations in Wembley National Stadium... Brent, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Brent Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue