Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Partnering for Safety

On November 19, 2010, the Chapter with its partner, the Boston University School of Social Work held the 2nd State Wide Leadership Summit on the subject of Maximizing Social Work Safety in the Workplace. Although the subject is worrisome and scary, representatives from the public and private human service agencies as well as the schools of social work spoke with such a sense of commitment and dedication to the topic, the atmosphere in the room was transformed from fear to dedication and possibility.

The room was filled with professionals from every public agency under the auspices of the Massachusetts Secretariat of Health and Human Services: Youth Services, Corrections, Family and Children’s Services, Elder Issues, Public Health, Mental Health as well as representatives from the Private and Public Massachusetts Schools of Social Work and a number of the larger private Child and Adult Serving agencies.  It was indeed a great example of a true Partnership.

Out of the meeting has come a number of practical and recommendations that are in the process of being implemented.  These include: a web site hosted on NASW MA Chapter's home page that will be complete with numerous resources for agencies developing Safety Plans; a commitment from NASW to file safety legislation in January; the beginnings of a plan to train a cadre of social workers to provide state wide training in safety procedures and a commitment to work with National NASW on getting a Policy Statement on Safety in the Workplace accepted.

This Summit marked the fruition of two years of work by a super Chapter Task Force.  I feel very fortunate and energized by all of my colleagues who serve on this Task Force. Together in partnership we will continue to promote this topic and ensure the implementation of these important changes. 

Carol J. Trust

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for all your hard work! Safety in the workplace is something some School Social Workers used to take for granted, until Columbine.

    Nowadays some would say we have a false sense of safety, thinking the anti-bullying legislation will protect us.

    Safety legislation, training in safety procedures and a Policy Statement are a priority moving forward and I'm glad to see NASW at the head of this process.