International Journal of Social Work and Human Services Practice(CEASE PUBLICATION) Vol. 5(1), pp. 1 - 8
DOI: 10.13189/ijrh.2017.050101
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Child Welfare Workers' Home Visit Risks and Safety Experiences in the USA: A Qualitative Approach


HaeJung Kim 1,*, Karen M. Hopkins 2
1 School of Social Work, Eberly College of Arts and Sciences, West Virginia University, USA
2 School of Social Work, University of Maryland, USA

ABSTRACT

Human service providers, including child welfare workers, who routinely visit clients' homes frequently face unsafe working conditions during their home visits. Although previous studies have emphasized the importance of safety issues in helping professionals, not many studies have specifically examined home visiting concerns. The purpose of this study is to explore individual, situational, and environmental characteristics that increase workers' home visit risks. Qualitative interviews were conducted with nine child welfare workers that completed a survey as part of a larger study on retention. From qualitative interviews, child welfare workers commonly experienced verbal or physical threats initiated by clients or community members. Situational and community factors were also identified with increased risk in home visits. For many, evening home visits to see children's parents usually increased the level of risk. Visiting communities with a violent reputation, receiving little support from police or community members, and a lack of community resources in risky situations posed increased risks during home visits. Overall, the current study may provide a better understanding and incentive for the further development of safety training in educational curriculums and agencies, and legislation and state guidelines that improve the safety of helping professionals.

KEYWORDS
Workplace Violence, Child Welfare, Home Visits Risks, Safety Experiences

Cite This Paper in IEEE or APA Citation Styles
(a). IEEE Format:
[1] HaeJung Kim , Karen M. Hopkins , "Child Welfare Workers' Home Visit Risks and Safety Experiences in the USA: A Qualitative Approach," International Journal of Social Work and Human Services Practice(CEASE PUBLICATION), Vol. 5, No. 1, pp. 1 - 8, 2017. DOI: 10.13189/ijrh.2017.050101.

(b). APA Format:
HaeJung Kim , Karen M. Hopkins (2017). Child Welfare Workers' Home Visit Risks and Safety Experiences in the USA: A Qualitative Approach. International Journal of Social Work and Human Services Practice(CEASE PUBLICATION), 5(1), 1 - 8. DOI: 10.13189/ijrh.2017.050101.