EXPERIENCES OF SERVICE-USER VIOLENCE AND COPING STRATEGIES EMPLOYED DURING SOCIAL WORK SERVICE DELIVERY: SUGGESTIONS FOR ENSURING SOCIAL WORKERS’ PERSONAL SAFETY

Abstract

Workplace violence or incidents where social workers are abused, threatened or assaulted by service users in executing the duties related to their work is acknowledged as a serious concern and an occupational hazard in many countries. This type of violence directly and indirectly challenges social workers’ safety, health and wellbeing. In this article, emanating from a qualitative research project, 14 South African social workers’ experiences of service-user violence and their coping strategies employed during social work service delivery are reported, and suggestions for ensuring social workers’ personal safety are put forward.

Author Biographies

Shingirayi Zimunya, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa
Chief Social Worker/Senior Employee Wellness Specialist and Postgraduate student, Department of Social Work, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa.
Assim Hashim Alpaslan, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa
Department of Social Work, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa
Published
2022-03-01
Section
Articles