ABSTRACT

United Kingdom (UK) citizens and politicians expect that public-sector service, front-line professional groups are well functioning and capable of delivering services to members of the public, to the high standards set by government. The definition of ‘emergency worker’ is categorised within the Act as, police, prison officers, fire and rescue personnel and certain National Health Service professionals who have direct interaction with the public. However, there has been significant disquiet expressed about the omission of the social work profession from the legislation to safeguard front-line professionals. The chapter focuses on presenting the case for the social work profession to be identified and acknowledged as one of the most vulnerable professional groups in the UK public sector. The discussion will highlight the interplay of the dynamics that create high levels of vulnerability for social workers in their everyday duties.