Procedures around home-visit safety need to be strengthened

The tragic circumstances around the death of a Perth social worker highlights the need for mandatory safety regulations for workers doing home visits.

Many occupations in the public service, including Child Protection workers, make home visits on a regular basis.

The situations workers find themselves in are often confronting, but also dangerous.

Rikki Hendon CPSU/CSA Assistant Secretary said stronger policies need to be put in place to ensure the safety of workers undertaking home visits.

“Public sector workers in child protection, community corrections, disability support and government housing often need to enter the homes of people experiencing significant difficulties in their lives to carry out their jobs.

“These people can be anxious and upset, and at times exhibit unpredictable, volatile behaviour that poses danger to workers, especially if they’re conducting the home visit on their own.

“We strongly and consistently advocate that home visits should always be done in pairs, but we are aware that this regularly does not occur in the public sector.

“Staffing levels and budgets should support safe home visit practice, not compromise through under-resourcing.

“Procedures around home-visit safety need to be strengthened, so tragedies like this never happen again,” she said.

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