Supporting social care employers to prevent and manage abuse and violence toward staff
Date: November 2014
This study undertaken for Skills for Care investigated the extent to which the social care workforce experience different levels of abuse and violence across groups of people who receive care and support services, and whether the nature of the type of violence experienced by social care staff varies across groups of people who receive care and support services.
While there are ongoing concerns about abuse and violence against people who receive care and support, the purpose of this study was to identify staff most likely to be exposed to abuse or violence in order to target resources and support in this area and promote safe working.
Over 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 responded to the survey. The responses were reasonably representative in terms of the client groups with which staff worked.
More than half of all respondents had experienced verbal abuse in the past year, and 25% experienced verbal abuse on a daily or weekly basis. A quarter had experienced a physical assault, and nearly 6% of all respondents had experienced a physical assault requiring medical assistance (including first aid) in the last year. Although abuse and violence against staff comes mainly from people receiving care and support, 19% of recent incidents are attributed to family and friends, and 5% to other staff members.
The survey results indicate that there is a lot of work which could be done to improve the safety and well-being of staff providing care and support, and that some staff are more likely to be exposed to particular types of abuse and violence than others.