This article examines the literature and research evidence concerning the impact of threatened and actual violence on social workers' well-being, assessments, and interventions in child-protection work. It is proposed that client violence can have serious effects on the child-protection worker themselves, as well as having specific effects on child-protection assessments and the management of interventions. It is argued that client violence toward child-protection staff and others in the violent client's networks needs to be taken into account in a systematic manner, which may affect the protection of children involved. The potential for increased recognition of such elements within risk assessment, case planning and policy development and review is addressed. The article draws mainly on sources of evidence in England, North America, and Australia, but the findings are applicable to child-protection work in different countries.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)144-158
Number of pages15
JournalTrauma, Violence and Abuse
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2002


  • assessment
  • intimidation
  • violence
  • protection
  • staff care
  • child abuse
  • violence against staff
  • risk
  • violent clients
  • informal and formal networks
  • policies
  • social work


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