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VIOLENCE APATHY BRINGS INTERVENTION ALERT

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Ministers will intervene over persistent failure to take violence against social care staff seriously enough, a tas...
Ministers will intervene over persistent failure to take violence against social care staff seriously enough, a task force has warned.

An interim report by the national task force on violence against social care staff says: 'It seems that despite previous initiatives to tackle the problem of violence against social workers, many employers still do not take their responsibilities sufficiently seriously . . . We believe ministers will want to be in a position to intervene where there is persistent and serious poor performance in this area.'

A£2m training programme on violence prevention has been launched. But the task force warns that councils 'will be starting from very different positions'.

'In our final report we will recommend targets to be incorporated within organisational performance management and intervention in cases of persistent failure.'

The task force's emerging strategies focus on:

Working environments: 'Design and furnishing of reception areas, residential homes and day centres can reduce agitation and risk of violence boiling over or exacerbate it.'

The need to follow up violent incidents: 'We think employers should have clear expectations of their managers to make supportive debriefing available, ensure that care plans are reviewed and revised and consider the need to refer to the police.'

Bringing safety measures into line: 'We will want to give some guidance to employers on good inter-agency co-operation.'

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