Protect Yourself with Heightened Awareness
Social services workers deal with individuals in daily crises, creating potentially tricky and contentious situations. Tim Dimoff’s presentation teaches a way of thinking and behaving that will help social workers from becoming targets of physical or fatal assaults.
Working in social services can be challenging and unpredictable, often requiring a high level of street smarts. Here are some tips to help social services workers navigate the streets and stay safe:
- Be aware of your surroundings: Always be mindful of what’s happening around you, and pay attention to any potential dangers or suspicious activity. Keep an eye out for exits, escape routes and safe areas where you can retreat if necessary.
- Trust your instincts: If something feels off or wrong, listen to your gut and take appropriate action. Don’t dismiss your intuition or try to rationalize away your concerns.
- Establish boundaries: It’s essential to set clear boundaries with clients and maintain a professional demeanor. Don’t give out personal information; be careful about sharing too much about yourself.
- Use de-escalation techniques: When dealing with agitated or aggressive clients, use de-escalation techniques to defuse the situation. Speak calmly and respectfully, and try to find common ground or a solution for both parties.
- Avoid dangerous situations: If you find yourself in an unsafe environment, remove yourself from the situation as quickly and safely as possible. Don’t put yourself in harm’s way unnecessarily.
- Use self-defense techniques: If you are ever physically threatened or attacked, you must know basic self-defense techniques to protect yourself. Consider taking a self-defense class to learn these skills.
- Build relationships with law enforcement: Positive relationships with local law enforcement can benefit social services workers. They can provide support and assistance in potentially dangerous situations.
- Take care of yourself: Working in social services can be emotionally and physically draining, so taking care of yourself is essential. Get enough rest, eat well, and exercise regularly. Take breaks when necessary, and seek support from colleagues and supervisors when necessary.
Remember, street smarts are just as necessary as book smarts when working in social services. Stay aware, be prepared, and prioritize your safety at all times.
- Identify the components of personal assaults in your industry and how to prevent them.
- Learn how to place yourself in the position of optimal observation while working
- Learn how to develop situational awareness techniques
- Learn how to use environmental awareness to your advantage