Sending Office: Honorable Julia Brownley
Protecting Social Workers and Health Professionals From Workplace Violence Act
Introduced by Congresswoman Julia Brownley (D-CA) and Elise Stefanik (R-NY)
Endorsed by: National Association of Social Workers, Clinical Social Work Association, American Organization for Nursing Leadership
Social and health professionals provide critical services to our most vulnerable populations. These dedicated social workers, nurses, and home and behavioral health aides often meet their clients where they are – providing mental health and family services
in client homes, in the community, and outside the four walls of an office.
Due to the nature of their jobs, these professionals are more likely to be physically and/or verbally assaulted while on the job than workers in other occupations. In 2018, the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that health and social service workers were
nearly five times as likely to suffer serious workplace violence injury than workers in other sectors.
As our country strives to meet the care needs of an aging society, increase access to community-based mental health care, and provide onsite family support services, it will be necessary to build a robust workforce of social workers and human services professionals.
PHI estimates that there will be a total of 7.8 million more direct care job openings before 2026, with more than 6.4 million current home health care workers expected to leave the workforce.
Strengthening workplace safety will go a long way toward recruiting and retaining qualified social workers and other health services professionals who are desperately needed in areas without qualified direct service providers. These areas include those that
are impacted the most by drug abuse, homelessness, as well as rural and isolated areas, and tribal/Alaskan Native communities.
The bipartisan Protecting Social Workers and Human Services Professionals from Workplace Violence Act, will address these safety needs by:
Establishing a grant program for social, health, and human service professionals within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to fund the implementation of state and tribal workplace safety programs.
Grants will be used to deploy:
- safety equipment (such as security cameras, GPS locators, and panic buttons)
- safety training (including crisis management, de-escalation techniques, and self-defense)
- technical assistance to track violence incidence rates and the efficacy of workplace safety programs
Social workers and health service professionals provide critical care to vulnerable residents and families across the country every day. We ask that you join us in ensuring of not only their safety but that of their clients and communities, as well as providing
necessary data to ensure that solutions are being provided to unmet needs.
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