Safety and Agency Responsibility

Social work is not always a bed of roses. There are bad times when disarrays happen. As such, social workers and social work agencies must be on their toes to respond to emergencies and address long-term impacts, including trauma linked to crises. Social workers and social work agencies must prepare for natural and artificial emergencies before they occur. This way, they can best protect their clients and staff and reduce panic during the crisis. An emergency response plan helps the administrators to restore calm and ensure everyone is safe during an emergency. As mentioned earlier, emergencies can be natural or artificial, and violence is one of the most common emergencies in the workplace. Workplace violence social workers are likely to face include; property damage, physical assault, verbal abuse, and verbal threats of assault (Zelnick et al. 2013, p 76). This plan explore to respond to emergencies such as workplace violence and how to manage long-term effects.

Emergency (Preparedness) Action Plan

Emergencies, including workplace violence, require effective emergency preparedness or action plan and response in the workplace. As the administrator addressing violence in the workplace, I would first develop a detailed action plan raising awareness of the most appropriate actions for disaster prevention and responses needed under various emergencies, including any form of violence. This will help the staff and the client feel safe when operating within the workplace. The disaster response guidance will be distributed in all the company premises, including offsite facilities. A comprehensive emergency action plan detailing prevention programs and response plans in case of emergency can help to reduce the possibility of violence happening on site. An emergency action plan covers both staff and clients (Hope & Van Wyk, 2018). Training will be part of this action plan, where staff is trained on responding to violent cases such as an active shooter attempting to kill people on site. Training helps the staff follow the emergency plan, reducing fatalities and injuries, and damage to property (Waugh, 2015). The staff must learn how to sound an alarm in case of emergency and to respond when an alarm is sounded. The training topic to covered ranges from documental potential changes in client’s behaviors, an indication of accelerating behaviors, self-defense techniques, warning indications leading to assault and dealing aggressive clients.

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Addressing Long-term Effects

Workplace violence is a traumatic event that can cause long-term impacts on individuals. Psychological trauma is a potential outcome of workplace violence, which must be addressed amicably. The best approach to help the staff members and clients overcome the devastating long-term effects of trauma is by offering mental health sessions to the victims of traumatic events. A combination of psychological therapy and medication would be recommended for severe cases (Weiss-Dagan, Ben-Porat, & Itzhaky, 2020). In my previous organization, the company offered free psychological therapy for staff coping with the aftermath of traumatic events, and the impact was great.

Greatest Concern

Threats and false accusations are the utmost concern for the safety of mental health specialists operating in a human services organization. An example of false accusations arises from clients accusing social workers of sexual, verbal, or physical assault, particularly when working with children. Such limits stem from experiences we have seen throughout our lives and fears breeding from imaginations that have turned into worse cases where social workers, particularly males, are accused of sexually assaulting their clients, mostly children (Smith, 2007). Some social workers, particularly those operating in high-risk zones, experiences threats of physical assaults from violent community members.

Overall, social work is not sunshine and rainbow. The occupation is characterized by many risks and emergencies, including violence. Some of the situations are so traumatic, leaving the affected victims traumatized, hence needing psychological therapy or medication. Preventing and responding to such emergencies require a comprehensive action plan detailing prevention and response mechanisms in an emergency.


Hope, J., & Van Wyk, C. (2018). Intervention strategies used by social workers in emergency child protection. Social work54(4), 421-437.

Smith, M. (2007). SMOKE WITHOUT FIRE? SOCIAL WORKERS’ FEARS OF THREATS AND ACCUSATIONS. Journal of Social Work Practice21(3), 323-335.

Waugh, W. L. (2015). Living with hazards, dealing with disasters: An introduction to emergency management: An introduction to emergency management. Routledge.

Weiss-Dagan, S., Ben-Porat, A., & Itzhaky, H. (2020). Secondary traumatic stress and vicarious post-traumatic growth among social workers who have worked with abused children. Journal of Social Work, 1468017320981363.

Zelnick, J. R., Slayter, E., Flanzbaum, B., Butler, N. G., Domingo, B., Perlstein, J., & Trust, C. (2013). Part of the job? Workplace violence in Massachusetts social service agencies. Health & social work38(2), 75-85.