Who is Behind The Safe Approach

Safety awareness is an on-going process

Safety awareness is an ongoing process

Field workers in the helping professions, such as nursing or social work, are regularly exposed to interpersonal contact which places them at risk from hostile people.  Roughly 30 percent of all people working in this area are assaulted in the course of their duties.  Most of those social workers who have been killed have been field workers.  Yet few agencies train their personnel to face such risks.  No academic has ever written a book specifically intended to teach field workers how to deal with this problem.

Until now.  Veteran child protection worker, Janet Douglas, and police officer, Charles Ennis, have written The Safe Approach to fill this need.  This book walks the reader through methods of evaluating situations, recognizing behavioral cues which may precede a work place assault, working tactically with co-workers to reduce risks, and disengaging should a subject become physically hostile.


 Charles Ennis and Janet Douglas have almost 50 years of combined law enforcement and social work experience.  They have worked together for more than 10 years together investigating high-risk child abuse complaints where there were concerns about the potential for violence.  During his career, Ennis was a member of the Emergency Response Team Tactical Unit and the Gang Crime Unit for the Vancouver Police Department.  Douglas has been a frontline child protection social worker in Vancouver, BC, for the past 21 years, working with families in crisis.  The authors have trained numerous agencies and their staff on how to be safe when working in the field and co-wrote The Safe Approach:  Controlling Risk for Workers in the Helping Professions. (Idyll Arbor Publishing)

Det. Charles Ennis at the Justice Institute of BC

Det. Charles Ennis at the Justice Institute of BC

7 Responses

  1. Hello,

    I am a journalism student and New York University and I am writing a report on social worker safety. I came across this blog while doing online research and if you have the time, I would like to ask you a few questions about social work versus police work. Your expertise in both fields will provide valuable information to make my report a success. Please email me at namurray85@gmail.com if you wish to help.


  2. I would be honored if you would add a link for Socialworkhelper.com to your blog. I would be over the moon, if you decided to write a review on your blog about the network.

    Socialworkhelper.com is a free social networking community created exclusively for social work, social care, and human service professionals and students. I created Socialworkhelper.com to connect people in our profession from around the globe into one online community in order to increase collaboration, engagement, and support for one another. Additionally, you can create groups, forums, events, blogs or import blogs, upload photos, create forums, keep up with birthdays, and not lose the things you love about other social networks.

    Use the Socialworkhelper.com join or sign in page links. Connect your website or blogs in order to host forum discussions, chats and/or create groups for your social work, social care or human service users for FREE!

    This site aims to combine all of your social networking tools in one place without the headaches of other sites. This network offers enhanced privacy, increased security, and controlled memberships in order to prevent being bombarded by advertisements, viruses, and spam. This networking community is fully integratable with your other social networks which means when you update your status in Socialworkhelper.com it can also be updated in Twitter and Facebook. It’s also smartphone and Mac compatible, so you can network with workers on the go!

    Thank You

    Deona Hooper, MSW

    • Dear Deona: I’ve added a link to socialworkhelper.com to my blog. I wish you every success with that. Thannks for your support.

  3. Thank you very much!

  4. Charles I am looking through your site out of pure desperation. I have a neighbor that is mentally ill will bi-polar disorder and came over to my house today threatening to kill my entire family. for the past couple of weeks he has been running up and down the block over and over barefoot screaming and signing that he is going to kill everyone on the block. This person was used to be a very nice person who was friendly for the most part. I have called the police and instead of arresting him they took him to the hospital. He lives right across the street from me and I fear that he is not going to get better bc his family are in denial about his situation. The police didnt write a report and only told us to file for an order of protection. Is there anything else I can do besides live in fear? I dont know what else I can do.

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