Child welfare professionals are tasked with ensuring the safety of children and families. This work often places workers in situations where their physical safety is compromised. Every day, child welfare professionals provide a wide range of services in increasingly complex environments in which safety is almost always a concern. Professionals are often engaging in risky situations without proper safety precautions and/or training and often are targets of verbal and physical assaults while performing their job responsibilities. This page offers guidance and training resources centered on safety precautions organizations and staff can take.
Caseworker Safety and Responsiveness in Child Welfare Practice: Instructor Guide (PDF - 895 KB)
University of Pittsburgh, School of Social Work, & The Pennsylvania Child Welfare Resource Center (2016)
Provides guidance for instructors on a 3-hour workshop on caseworker safety and responsiveness through briefs and simulations.
Child Welfare Workers' Home Visit Risks and Safety Experiences in the USA: A Qualitative Approach
Kim & Hopkins (2017)
International Journal of Social Work and Human Services Practice, 5(1)
Explores individual, situational, and environmental characteristics that increase workers’ home visit risks. Situational and community factors were also identified to contribute to risk during in-home visits.
The Child Welfare Worker Safety Guide (PDF - 981 KB)
Capacity Building Center for States (2017)
Increases knowledge of child welfare worker safety and provides strategies and tips for States and jurisdictions to improve organizational capacity for child welfare worker safety.
How Was Safety Organized Practice Implemented in San Diego County?
Casey Family Programs (2019)
Provides strategies and tools for child protection caseworkers to engage families; enhance family participation in case planning; and facilitate shared, equitable decisionmaking.
Literature Review: Worker Safety (PDF - 2,340 KB)
San Diego State University, School of Social Work (2016)
Reviews protocols and procedures to ensure workplace safety in human services agencies. The report also discusses guidelines for reporting and responding to workplace incidents of violence as well as safety trainings provided to employees.
National Association of Social Workers Massachusetts Chapter
Provides policy recommendations and training resources to reduce risk to clients, direct-service staff, management, and administration. Social workers are encouraged to participate in education and training in skills associated with risk reduction and safety promotion as well as cultural competence.