Socw6500 week3 | SOCW 6500 – Social Work Field Education I | Walden University

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Week 3: Safety Planning

Important Note: Please use the media player below to hear an audio course introduction that will give you more background information about the course topic. Also provided is a transcript for you to download and print out.

Laureate Education. (Producer). (2013). Safety planning [Audio file]. Retrieved from

Note:  The approximate length of this media piece is 1 minute.

Accessible player –Downloads–Download AudioDownload Transcript

Learning Objectives

Students will:
  • Create personal safety plan for field education experience
  • Compare personal safety plan and agency safety plan during field education experience

Learning Resources

Note: To access this week’s required library resources, please click on the link to the Course Readings List, found in the Course Materials section of your Syllabus.

Required Readings

Garthwait, C. L. (2017). The social work practicum: A guide and workbook for students (7th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.
Chapter 4, “Personal Safety” (pp. 41-50)

National Association of Social Workers, Massachusetts Chapter. (2014). Creating a climate of safety. Retrieved from[email protected]

Regehr, C., & Glancy, G. D. (2011). When social workers are stalked: Risks, strategies, and legal protections. Clinical Social Work Journal, 39(3), 232–242.
Note: Retrieved from Walden Library databases.

Required Media

Laureate Education. (Producer). (2013). Safety planning [Audio file]. Retrieved from

Note:  This audio introduction is located in the “Introduction and Objectives” section. The approximate length of this media piece is 1 minute.

Optional Resources

Click the following link to access the MSW home page, which provides resources for your social work program.

MSW home page

Assignment 1: Week 3 Blog

Refer to the topics covered in this week’s resources and incorporate them into your blog.

By Day 3

Post a blog post that includes:

  • A description of your personal safety plan for your field education experience
  • An explanation of how your personal safety plan might differ from your agency safety plan during your field education experience
By Day 4

Respond to the blog post of three colleagues in one or more of the following ways:

  • Make a suggestion to your colleague’s post.
  • Expand on your colleague’s posting.

You will be assigned to author regular blog entries as well as make comments on your colleagues’ blog postings.

Be sure to support your blog posts with specific references to this week’s resources and provide full APA citations for your references. For more information about posting your blog assignment, click on the Field Education Blogs link on the course navigation menu.


 Posted by  Noelia Antonio  at Wednesday, September 11, 2019 2:21:17 PM

In the field education experience, it is important to develop a safety plan to ensure the reduction of harm. Although social workers are always at risk of harm, certain areas of social work are higher risks than others. Social workers can run into dangerous situations, especially in cases of child abuse or domestic violence (Garthwait, 2017). It is understandable that in these situations that workers would face a higher likelihood of facing danger, as there is a tendency for violence, and the amount of intrusion that occurs in the familial setting.

Unfortunately, safety is a big concern in the social work field. According to Regehr & Glancy (2011) “87.8% of social workers in their study reported verbal harassment, 63.5% reported threats of physical harm, and 28.6% report being assaulted by a client” (p. 232). Although in my previous experience in the social work field I have not encountered things of this nature, it is always important to develop a safety plan.

My personal safety plan would be to ensure that my supervisor knows where I am at all times when I am out in the field. If I have to visit a home, I would attempt to schedule visits as early in the day-time as possible, especially in high-risk neighborhoods and accompanied by someone else if I felt uncomfortable. This coincides with my agency’s safety plan, as it also recommends having someone accompany you in cases where there is a perceived safety threat. Surprisingly, the agency recommends being cautious of what you wear. Not only should one wear items that aren’t overly flashy to reduce attracting negative attention and possible theft, but to dress comfortably in case one has to prepare to escape. It is also recommended that if one fears their own safety, to make it known to their supervisor, especially if threats have been made.  


Garthwait, C. L. (2017). The social work practicum: A guide and workbook for students (7th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.

Regehr, C., & Glancy, G. D. (2011). When social workers are stalked: Risks, strategies, and legal protections. Clinical Social Work Journal, 39(3), 232–242

 Posted by Surnita Warner  at Tuesday, September 10, 2019 10:16:37 PM

Garthwait (2017) references that “ social workers see themselves as helpers and expect most clients to be cooperative, at times they find themselves in situations which they must deal with clients who are angry, emotionally volatile, and threatening. (p. 41).” Working for the crisis hotline, I would make sure to plan for personal safety by having a phone accessible at all times. In having this phone, I would make sure to utilize it as a safety precaution and not as a pleasure. In addition, I would become familiar with all of the buildings exits. As Garthwait (2017) asserts“Social workers may be harmed physically or emotionally(p.44).” However, with a phone and exits being accessible  I would be able to contact authorities to notify them or exit the building away from harm. 

 “Aside from victims of intimate partner violence, mental health professionals are one of the highest risk groups for being stalked.”(Regehr, & Glancy, 2011, p. 233) Therefore, the concern of safety is high and safety planning is very beneficial. Regehr, & Glancy(2011) asserts that “organization encourages individuals to report violence, which helps to allow the organization to assist those who report by mobilizing medical treatment or psychological support services”, etc. This differs from the personal safety plan I suggested of carrying a mobile phone and becoming aware of all exit because the agency sent a clear message that violence against workers will not be tolerated and that legal actions will be taken. It also provides emotional support for individuals and workers who are abused or have been abused by violence.


Garthwait, C. L. (2017). The social work practicum: A guide and workbook for students (7th ed.)pp. 41-50. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.

Regehr, C., & Glancy, G. D. (2011). When social workers are stalked: Risks, strategies, 

and legal protections. Clinical Social Work Journal, 39(3), 232–242.

 Posted by  Emily Worley  at Monday, September 9, 2019 3:37:05 PM

Student Safety Plan

Social workers will meet their clients at some of the most vulnerable and challenging times of their lives, tensions can run high, due to this safety plans are a vital source of safety for the client and the social worker. Safety polices reflect the profession’s ethical values, are critical to the effective provision of services, and are integral to a positive, productive, and professional work life; attention to safety in the workplace can reduce the level of burnout and help with staff retention (National Association of Social Workers, Massachusetts Chapter, 2014).

My safety plan is as follows:      



Action plan

High Risk Situations

  • Avoid contact with co-defendants
  • Be aware of client’s known behavior patterns
  • Know the lessons that are planned, and any potential triggers
  • Watch out for bullying that occurs
  • Follow the incident with staff and provide any supporting documentation that may be needed
  • Stay calm and non-threating


  • Stay neutral
  • Follow staff of agencies direction
  • Know the agencies policies
  • Remove any other adolescents from harm
  • Avoid arguing with the client


  • Report any threats made to staff immediately
  • Keep an open and non-threating body posture.
  • Look for an escape plan
  • Know the codes of the agency to be able to call for help


  • Remove myself from the situation
  • Allow agency staff to follow their procedures
  • Exit the situation at first sign of violence.


  • Provide staff with an account of the incident.
  • Seek supervision from field liaison and instructor

Another major concept of my safety as mentioned in the table is to know and understand the field agencies codes, this way I can be aware of any incidents occurring and take the necessary steps to protect the other clients and myself. Also, my safety plan would include never working alone, and knowing the emergency meeting locations of the agencies.

Differences of Student/Agency Safety Plan

My safety plan is much different than that of my field agency, my field placement’s safety plan has more details, with more interventions listed. Every organization or agency that I have worked for thus far in my career require their staff to attend North Carolina Interventions (NCI) Training. According to North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, 2019, NCI is a standardized training program to prevent the use of restraints and seclusion. The NCI training helps provide agencies with the least non-restrictive ways to manage irate clients. My safety plan focuses more on the safety of myself, where my field agency has individuals in place to manage hands on violent encounters. It is important that not all incidents have to have violence to be considered dangerous. Most incident can be prevented by effective preventative education for social workers, individual prevention strategies, and organizational policies that enhance safety (Regehr, C., & Glancy, G. 2011).


National Association of Social Workers, Massachusetts Chapter. (2014). Creating a climate of safety. Retrieved from[email protected]

North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. (2019). NC Interventions Training Program.  Retrieved from:

Regehr, C., & Glancy, G. (2011). When Social Workers Are Stalked: Risks, Strategies, and Legal Protections. Clinical Social Work Journal39(3), 232–242.



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