The Supporting social care employers to prevent and manage abuse towards staff report published by Skills for Care aims to support employers to tackle the issue.
The research team had responses from more than 1,300 social care staff working across the public and independent sectors, in a variety of settings and working with a wide range of people who receive care and support services.
The responses from frontline workers revealed that although abuse and violence towards staff comes mainly from people receiving care and support, nearly one-in-five recent incidents are attributed to family and friends, and one-in-twenty from other staff members.
The study found that a quarter of frontline workers had experienced a physical assault, and nearly 6% of all respondents required medical assistance, including first aid, after an assault in the last year. More than half of all respondents experienced verbal abuse in the past year, and a quarter experienced verbal abuse on a daily or weekly basis.
The report offers a number of clear recommendations to encourage employers to ensure they have:
- Clear systems for reporting and recording incidents, which are well publicised to staff and monitored regularly.
- Practical help when an incident occurs – from time out or a break to recover, to counselling and further training.
- Developed and implemented policies on abuse and violence at work.
- Structured and sustained learning and development programmes – especially for those working with people with autism, people with dementia and people with a learning disability.
- Effective management support and supervision.
Skills for Care CEO Sharon Allen said: “We must never think that violence or abuse aimed at care workers from whatever source is just part of the job. This report is helpful in looking at the extent of incidents for the very first time, but as importantly focusing at what we can all do to reduce the number of incidents.”
The report’s recommendations offer employers ideas that they can implement to reduce risk to their staff and Skills for Care also has a range of practical resources offering different ways of bringing down the number of incidents in a variety of workplaces.
Skills for Care’s website is full of useful resources for employers to access and download to help them reduce the incidence of violence and abuse in their workplace. The easy to use resources include:
- Leadership and management
- Induction standards
- Positive working cultures
- Specific resources for employers and staff working with people living with dementia, autism, mental health issues and people whose behaviour challenges
- Qualifications in a range of areas including communication, safeguarding, promoting positive outcomes and supporting people with different needs
- Guides for employers and employees on working safely.
A copy of the report and links to helpful resources can be found on the Skills for Care website.