Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work


School of Social Work

First Reader/Committee Chair

Chang, Janet


This study explored the risk that social workers face in the field while serving vulnerable adults to determine if there is need to implement mandated safety training based on social worker experiences and their desire for initial safety training. There needs to be a clear understanding of risks faced by social workers and their desire for safety training to implement safety standards and training for social workers across the board in social service agencies and academic institutions. There is minimal research currently on this topic and thus this study is paving the way for future research, as well as providing insight to risks faced by social workers who conduct field visits. This quantitative study presents different field situations that have put the social worker’s personal safety at risk and desire for safety training based on their personal experience. The results show a desire and need for mandatory safety training prior to entering the field. The results show a positive correlation between years in the field and risks faced in the field. Additionally, there was a positive correlation between age and desire for field safety training. There were differences found in risks experienced and desire for safety training by gender, education and ethnicity. This study is the start to understanding safety risks faced by social workers in the field and suggests developing safety training policy to ensure social worker safety in the field in both social service agencies and academic institutions.

Included in

Social Work Commons