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Family and Children's
Resource Program

Vol. 21, No. 2
April 2016

Worker Safety: Learning Resources

Courses Sponsored by the NC Division of Social Services

Child Welfare in North Carolina (aka "Pre-Service")
The Course: This four-week, competency-based curriculum gives social workers and supervisors an overview of the child welfare system. It includes an online module focused explicitly on worker safety. Staff who completed Pre-Service since 2007 continue to have access to this module through

In the re-design of Pre-Service currently being piloted, staff are asked to complete and submit two worker safety activities to their supervisor; this provides opportunities for follow-up conversations regarding worker safety.

Audience: Everyone employed by a NC county DSS agency in child welfare must complete this course prior to direct client contact or assuming supervisory responsibilities.

Offered: 30 times a year.

Methamphetamine: What a Social Worker Needs to Know
The Course: This short, self-paced, online course explores methamphetamine's impact on families and communities, describes evidence-based treatment interventions, and teaches social workers to recognize and protect themselves and others from meth-related hazards.

Audience: Recommended for all child welfare social workers and supervisors employed in a NC county DSS.

Offered: Continuously (on-demand course).

Domestic Violence Policy and Best Practices in Child Welfare
The Course: This three-day, skill-building course covers the specific assessment and intervention issues when domestic violence-related child maltreatment has been identified. It includes discussion about the dangers and dynamics of DV, the effects of DV on children, cultural aspects of DV, safety planning, and outcome-based service planning.

Audience: NC child welfare social workers, supervisors, and program managers employed in a NC county DSS.

Offered: 11 times a year.

To register for these courses, go to

Safety-Focused Websites


National Safety and Self-Defense Training Resources

ILR, Inc.
For 20+ years ILR, Inc., a Durham-based organization, has been helping agencies learn to address their personal workplace safety needs. Unfortunately, agencies often don't seek help until after a traumatic event, creating an atmosphere of vulnerability. ILR encourages agencies to prepare and plan for their organizational safety needs using the following two tools. To learn more go to

Working Safe Working Smart (WsWs). This five-unit workplace safety training program from ILR, Inc. focuses on interactions between staff and clients or the general public. It presents an approach for determining safety needs within an agency and identifying a broad outline of areas that might require safety planning. WsWs comes in two major formats: (1) eLearning, which is available for individuals or group purchase, and (2) curriculum license, which allows agencies to train the course under a perpetual use license. Online:

Personal Safety Handbook. This compact guide from ILR, Inc. gives practical suggestions to human services staff on managing personal safety. Key issues covered include: why people assault, general prevention techniques, risk assessment, safe approaches to field visits, navigating mental illness, and office and building safety.

Everyday Self Defense for Social Workers. Janet Nelson, MSW, LCSW, offers full and half-day seminars to teach personal safety awareness, conflict avoidance skills, and stress reduction. Participants practice verbal defense skills, specific awareness drills, and learn about body language and positioning. To learn more visit

The Personal Safety Training Group. Training for social services professionals working at or away from the office. Sessions are 2 to 6 hours long and provide practical strategies and specific skills to enhance awareness of surroundings and recognize and de-escalate threats. Plans are included that stress the importance of schedule sharing and assigning emergency contacts and specific check-in times.