Supporting social care employers to prevent and manage abuse and violence toward staff: report

Document type
Cairncross, Liz; Gardner, Madeline
Skills for Care
Date of publication
1 November 2014
Social Work, Social Care and Social Services
Social welfare
Material type

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This report explores to what extent the social care workforce is at risk of different levels of abuse or violence across the groups of people who receive care and support services, and whether the type of abuse or violence differs across groups. Research evidence indicates that there is little existing evidence about these differences. An electronic survey to UNISON members obtained responses from 1,351 social care workers across a wide range of settings and people who receive care and support services.

More than half of all respondents had experienced verbal abuse in the past year and a quarter had experienced a physical assault. Incidents of abuse or violence were most frequently mentioned in relation to people with a learning disability, dementia, or mental illness. Verbal abuse was the most widely mentioned type of incident in relation to people with a physical disability, older people, people with a mental illness and people with a learning disability. Physical assaults (not requiring medical assistance) were more frequently mentioned in relation to people with autism and older people with dementia.

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