Document for Safety

I was reading an article “Remember Those Who Died in Social Care” on the Social Work Blog talking about social workers who had died in the line of duty.  Mike Broad, the author of this entry, said that:

“…Progressive employers are investing in training that encourages their staff to stay calm and confident, read the signs of agitation and have clear exit strategies.  They ensure that detailed records on clients are kept and shared, and risks assessed.  All incidents are reviewed and approaches planned.  Staff have access to technology such as alarms and monitoring systems.”

I couldn’t agree with this more.  Broad reported that the British government took this start in 2001 with a £2 million campaign intended to reduce violence against social workers by 25% by 2005.  Unfortunately 2005 arrived and the government had no idea whether this campaign had worked because the “detailed records” that they’d called for had never been centralized. 

One of the key pieces to the safety puzzle is reviewing all pertinent information on a client.  Workers and police that fail to document past history thoroughly are putting future workers on the case at risk.  All workers in the country should have access to everyone’s records:  Clients with histories of neglect and abuse often move around to avoid the consequences of their actions.  It’s not going to help a worker in one region if they can’t see the client’s records from another region.

Charles Ennis