Laura Sharman 06 June 2018

Calls to protect social workers from 'escalating violence'

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.'

For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Interim Head of Fostering

Tile Hill
Negotiable day rate
We are working with a local authority client in London who is looking for an Interim Head of Fostering, the local authority was last inspected as “... London (Central), London (Greater)
Recuriter: Tile Hill

Interim Head of Children in Care and Care Leavers

Tile Hill
Negotiable day rate
We are working with a local authority client in London who is looking for an Interim Head of Children in Care and Care Leavers, the local authority... London (Central), London (Greater)
Recuriter: Tile Hill

Head of Regeneration and Economy

City of York Council
£59,593 - £68,094
York is a wonderful place to live and work and it is quite rightly famous across the globe. York, North Yorkshire / Hybrid
Recuriter: City of York Council

Clinical Lead, North Essex

Essex County Council
Clinical Lead, North EssexPermanent, Full TimeUp to £57,869 per annumLocation
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Assistant Director Legal,&Governance/Monitoring Officer

Rochdale BC
£70,340 - £81,589
The Assistant Director role has breadth of responsibility beyond legal services incorporating Constitutional and Democratic Services Rochdale, Greater Manchester
Recuriter: Rochdale BC

Partner Content

Circular highways is a necessity not an aspiration – and it’s within our grasp

Shell is helping power the journey towards a circular paving industry with Shell Bitumen LT R, a new product for roads that uses plastics destined for landfill as part of the additives to make the bitumen.

Support from Effective Energy Group for Local Authorities to Deliver £430m Sustainable Warmth Funded Energy Efficiency Projects

Effective Energy Group is now offering its support to the 40 Local Authorities who have received a share of the £430m to deliver their projects on the ground by surveying properties and installing measures.

Pay.UK – the next step in Bacs’ evolution

Dougie Belmore explains how one of the main interfaces between you and Bacs is about to change.