8.46 Violence Towards Staff
This section applies to any incident where a member of staff of any safeguarding partnership agency is verbally abused, threatened or assaulted by a service user or member of the public in circumstances relating to her / his employment.
Predisposing indicators include:
The risk of violence may increase when:
Violence towards staff is an inter-agency problem. If one agency has information that a parent / carer is known to be violent they have a responsibility to alert other agencies of the risks posed by that person - see Information Sharing and Confidentiality.
Each agency must ensure the health and safety of its own staff and there should be implemented general safe working practice when working in a community setting including:
The threshold for responding to violence towards staff is not related to the presence or absence of identified Significant Harm indicators in the child. However, the experience of violence or threats to staff should be used as evidence of the situation of the family and included in assessments of the child's circumstances.
Both these factors should be considered at an inter-agency Strategy Meeting that involves the referring agency, Children's Social Care, Safeguarding Investigations Unit, health visitor and school nurse.
The purpose of the meeting is to:
All threats must be documented in the child's file as well as reported in accordance with the internal agency procedures.
De-Brief, Supervision and Support
There should always be a de-brief session following any incidents.
Violence towards staff will have a potentially detrimental effect both personally and professionally, including escalating levels of stress, physical injury / illness, professional judgement and behavioural responses.
Levels of personal and case management supervision should be adjusted to provide organisational support and consultation to staff working in these conditions. Therapeutic services, specialist supervision or training may need to be provided.