Social work can place a social worker in risky situations. Maintaining ethics is a crucial component of social work risk management. These common situations can bring high risk to the social worker, clients, and third parties.
Court Order Violations
Working in abusive shelters, social workers can find themselves in situations where the abused victim fled a state in violation of a court order. The order may require shared children to remain in the state during a custody dispute. Or the order may simply require the abused to remain until the court case has resolved. Either way, the social worker is caught between reporting the violation of the court order to authorities and protecting their client.
Client Home Visits
Sometimes social workers visit the homes of their clients to check on them. Troubled individuals pose a risk to the social worker’s physical well-being. Social workers can experience verbal abuse, threats, and assault. Taking time to understand the attitude and potential danger of clients can help social workers prepare for dangerous situations. The website www.tangramins.com states that risk management does have its limitations in helping the most vulnerable and needy.
These types of situations bring high risk regardless of the path chosen. A key to social work risk management is adhering to the values and principles of the profession in every decision to minimize the risk of a lawsuit.