Safety When Conducting Home Visits

By: Amy Briggs

General Safety Information

Trust your instincts.
Stay alert.
Have a good and safe working car.
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Before Home visit

  • Make sure that someone knows where you will be and if possible how long.
  • Know where you are going. (Is it a safe neighborhood?)
  • Dress appropriate. (Minimal jewelry, comfortable and easy to walk in shoes, and non-revealing tops or bottoms)
  • Carry ID and a charged cell phone.
  • Park car in a way that you can make a quick exit.
  • Ask a supervisor or co-worker to go along if you feel the need to have an extra body.
  • Avoid home visits in the dark.

During Home Visit

  • Trust your instincts.
  • Be aware of surrounding- know where the nearest exit is.
  • Have car keys readily available.
  • Do not reveal too much personal information to client.
  • Do not have back turned towards client.
  • Be aware of weapons in the house.
  • Be aware of any drug paraphernalia or possible drug sales taking place within the home.
  • Be vigilant of any family pets.
  • Sit on hard surfaces to avoid any infestations or hidden weapons in the cushions of furniture.
  • Know your boundaries.
  • Do not let your guard down.
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After Home Visit.

*Safety is still a concern after the home visit has concluded*

  • Be aware of surroundings as you leave.
  • Before entering your car check under, around, and inside your car for possible intruders or other people.
  • Lock your doors once inside your car.
  • Wash hands to help avoid getting sick.
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References

Safety tips for home visitors: Planning for a safe home visit. (2009). Retrieved from http://www.achd.net/hvn/pubs/pdf/HVNSafety.pdf

DeBoer, L., (2012). Home visitor safety training. Retrieved from http://healthandwelfare.idaho.gov/Portals/0/Children/HomeVisiting/Home%20Visitor%20Safety%20Training.pdf

Victor, P., (2014). Safety tips for home visits from a veteran NYC social worker. Retrieved from http://www.naswnyc.org/?489