Socw 6520 wk 3 peer responses | SOCW 6520 – Social Work Field Education III | Walden University


SOCW 6520 WK 3 peer responses 

Respond to the blog post of three colleagues ( They have to be responded to separately) in one or more of the following ways: 

Make a suggestion to your colleague’s post.

Expand on your colleague’s posting.

Intext citation and full references for each peer response after the response of each


Peer 1:  Amber Hopf 

A description of your personal safety plan for your field education experience

Approximately 85 percent of social workers experience aggression during their career and 30 percent experience assault (National Association of Social Workers Massachusetts Chapter, n.d.). Often times these individuals engage on the negative thoughts or beliefs regarding their social worker (Regehr & Glancy, 2010). For example, some clients may stalk social workers due to the relationship they developed inside their mind. While most cases the client does not wish to cause harm, it is still important for social workers to develop a safety plan. In this case the first step would be to set boundaries with clients to reduce these negative tendencies. This may consist of making sure clients do not have any personal information. However, setting boundaries may not always be a barrier to these behaviors. Therefore, social workers should also be aware of their surroundings. This would consist of being aware when leaving work to make sure no one is following. In addition, to prevent this from happening social workers should never walk alone after dark when leaving work. This is important as many mental health professionals are at a higher risk for stalking (Regehr & Glancy, 2010). Thus, social workers should have a set safety plan when working in the field. In my field agency, my plan is to set boundaries with clients to keep the relationship professional. Another plan is to make sure that I do not leave the agency alone or without telling someone that I am leaving. I will also be keeping an eye on my surrounding area rather than looking down at my phone.

On the other hand, creating and sticking to a safety plan helps professionals with decreasing the risk of burnout (National Association of Social Workers Massachusetts Chapter, n.d.). In fact, the risk of burnout can negatively impact a clinician’s mental health. In order to reduce my risk of burnout my personal safety plan is to make sure that I am not bringing my work home with me. In doing so, I am working on self-care so that I may return the following day in a better mindset to better provide services to clients. There are many ways that not taking care of oneself can negative influence a client seeking services. Thus, it is important that social workers engage in developing a safety plan to ensure not only themselves but their clients are safe and being taken care of.

An explanation of how your personal safety plan might differ from your agency safety plan during your field education experience

After looking over my agencies safety plan there are not many differences on the safety plans. For instance, my agency expects all professionals to message in our teams’ email chat when we are leaving for the night. In addition, all employees are given keys to be able to lock all the doors to ensure that everyone is safe. However, one difference from my agencies safety plan to mine is that the agency insists that each employee is aware of the emergency exits and protocols. In doing so, clinicians are able to have an understanding of where to go during emergencies or if they need to make a quick exit. One reason I decided to complete my internship at this field site was due to the similarities of safety plans. In other words, I knew that the supervisors and other employees cared about the safety of not only the client but their coworkers as well!


National Association of Social Workers, Massachusetts Chapter. (n.d.). Creating a climate of safety. Retrieved from:

Regehr, C., & Glancy, G. D. (2011). When social workers are stalked: Risks, strategies, and legal protections. Clinical Social Work Journal, 39(3), 232-242.

Peer 2: David Jones New

A description of your personal safety plan for your field education experience 

Safety skill training is a critical part of orientation with the agency. Staff members are trained to know how to recognize signs of an impending violent outburst and what they should do about it. To further prepare staff, the field placement agency has a “violence plan,” and rehearse their reactions, just like a fire drill. During this rehearsal, we practice techniques, responses and learn what needs to be done not only before and during a violent episode, but afterwards, to support the victim and everyone else. The agency points out that safety begins before people enter the building. The agency has a “zero tolerance” policy regarding carrying weapons or using drugs or alcohol prior to visiting the agency. Special attention is focused on the waiting room, making sure it is pleasant and comfortable while keeping waiting time to a minimum. The agency monitors temperature, crowding, and noise. We use color coding, alarms, and signals so that others can be alerted when trouble starts. The agency limits access to staff work areas using keys and coded locks. Also, the field placement agency considers the arrangement of furniture in the office. Ideally, the agency expresses how both you and the client should have easy access to the door and how I should not have to go around my desk or past the client to get out. We look to eliminate “weapons of opportunity,” such as paperweights, scissors, and staplers from areas client’s access ( Birkenmaier, J., 2018 ). Some of my personal safety guides that I take, or follow are to always make sure doors are locked and secure before I enter a unit, and as I am leaving a unit. I also make sure that I am not being followed by a patient. 

An explanation of how your personal safety plan might differ from your agency safety plan during your field education experience.

My personal safety plan would not differ from my current agency directives, but I would develop a policy for follow-up to victimization and trauma suffered by staff. Serious incidents, such as a personal threat, assault, or a staff fatality are significant emotional events. These have the power, because of the circumstances in which they occur, to cause unusual psychological distress in a healthy, normal individual. These types of events also point out the necessity of providing for an agency-wide support system to assist victims and staff in the recovery process.


Birkenmaier, J., & Berg-Weger, M. (2018). The practicum companion for social work: Integrating class and fieldwork (4th

ed.). New York, NY: Pearson.Chapter 3, “Safety in Social Work Settings” (pp. 63-77)

Peer 3: WK3 Blog – Audri Kaufman New

A description of your personal safety plan for your field education experience

Workplace safety is an important part of any profession.  Social workers however, often work in challenging situations, late or long hours, and with challenging populations and therefore are at an increased risk of harm and/or violence (Birkenmaier & Berg-Weger, 2018). In order to ensure social workers are safe while on the job, many agencies have protocols in place to ensure staff are safe while either in the office or out in the field.

For my internship at Valley’s Best Hospice, field safety is of high priority. Webinar training videos and quizzes were assigned to me for completion during week one. According to their manual, staff are to assess for risk factors before and during home visits with patients and report any threat or risk of harm to the main office immediately as well as calling 9-1-1 in case of an emergency (NHPCO, 1996). 

Hospice home healthcare services often pose several risks for staff including work in dangerous neighborhoods, midnight calls for urgent care, and high strung friends and family members of the ailing patient.  For this reason, it is critical that workers (and volunteers) take necessary precautions to ensure safety. Birkenmaier and Berg-Weger (2018) recommend reading through patient casenotes when assigned a new or unfamiliar case to assess for any potential concerns for violence or safety, also, know where you are going; update work calendar to reflect address information for field appointments and notify the office if any changes come up. Social work interns need to be vigilant at all times.


An explanation of how your personal safety plan might differ from your agency safety plan during your field education experience

Often times when our work as social workers is heart driven and we can lose sight of the potential safety concerns around us.  I know for me, I am guilty of often thinking, I am a good person out here to help others and so is everyone else! Oliver et al. (2013) calls this false consensus bias and emphasizes the need to stay vigilant while working with challenging populations in unsafe settings.




Birkenmaier, J., & Berg-Weger, M. (2018). The practicum companion for social work: Integrating class and fieldwork (4th ed.). New York, NY: Pearson.

National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO). (1996). Hospice code of Ethics: Volunteer training manual. The Hospice Journal, Vol 11(2), 1996.

Oliver, D. P., Demiris, G., Wittenberg-Lyles, E., Gage, A., Dewsnap-Dreisinger, M. L., & Luetkemeyer, J. (2013). Patient safety incidents in hospice care: observations from interdisciplinary case conferences. Journal of palliative medicine, 16(12), 1561–1567.