Woman killed in Birmingham was social care worker carrying out home visits, reports say

Fatal stabbing of Belinda Rose highlights risks faced by all care providing professionals, BASW statement warns

Image of Belinda Rose, a support worker who was killed in Birmingham while working (credit: West Midlands Police)
Belinda Rose, a support worker who was killed in Birmingham while working (credit: West Midlands Police)

A woman killed in a north Birmingham suburb at the weekend was a social care worker carrying out home visits, according to reports.

Belinda Rose, aged 63, was stabbed on Saturday in the Perry Barr area of the city last Saturday afternoon. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

A 52-year-old man has been charged with the Walsall resident’s murder, a statement from West Midlands Police said.

Neighbours quoted in a report by the Daily Mirror described her as a “social worker” and said she provided support to residents of the house of multiple occupancy (HMO) where she was attacked, and to other properties owned by the same landlord.

They added that she had previously worked for the prison service and that her clients included adults with autism.

‘Daily risks’

A statement issued by the British Association of Social Workers expressing condolences to those who knew Rose said that her death highlighted the daily risks faced by care-providing professionals.

“We, and our members, are deeply saddened to hear the awful news. Our thoughts are with Belinda’s family, friends and colleagues at this devastating time,” said BASW England national director, Maris Stratulis.

Figures obtained earlier in 2019 by the GMB union revealed that UK care workers had suffered more than 6,000 violent attacks that resulted in serious injuries.

The data, which was obtained under the Freedom of Information Act from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), found that violent attacks accounted for one third of reports made to the HSE by residential care workers. Across all workers, the proportion was just 7%.

34 Responses to Woman killed in Birmingham was social care worker carrying out home visits, reports say

  1. Naseem August 21, 2019 at 4:26 am #

    It’s sad that Rose was killed by the vary people who she was trying to help.
    Her death demonstrates that local authorities are failing to have appropriate measures in place to safeguard the workforce.

    • Harry August 22, 2019 at 11:35 am #

      No it does not. It demonstrates that this poor woman’s employer may have failed to have appropriate measures in place to protect her. It does not follow that all other local authorities are the same.

      Nevertheless it is dreadful that this has happened and there must be an investigation and learning from this awful tragedy. All condolences to Rose’ family, friends and colleagues.

  2. Nicola Downes August 21, 2019 at 8:39 am #

    So very sad. I think it’s really important that people in our professions take up self-defense classes to keep safe.

  3. Joe Dalton August 21, 2019 at 1:56 pm #

    Sad is our society that some women dies through the violent knife crime that’s sweeping our towns and city’s and escalation as each day,goes past,
    No matter what this women worked as or for is immaterial , a life of a human being has been taken away and should have been prevented,,
    It makes you think of our own safety when u read of,this terrible crime ,_
    Thought’s go out to the familie and friends of this women ,,

    • Hot75 August 22, 2019 at 11:55 pm #

      Indeed.. but this just proves that there is a clear divide amongst Frontline workers & it is a DISGRACE that this poor lady did not get the same recognition she deserves. A life is precious & should not be marginalised.. Tragic x

  4. Debbie Lloyd August 21, 2019 at 5:44 pm #

    This is a terrible tragedy and my condolences go out to her family and colleagues. Can I make the point that this didn’t reach national news where the recent death of that police officer has been headline news. While both are equally terrible circumstances, both professionals are serving the public and work in risky situations and therefore should have equal recognition by the media.

    • Audrey August 21, 2019 at 9:06 pm #

      Totally agree x

    • Susan Samuels August 21, 2019 at 10:34 pm #

      Well said!

    • Carol August 21, 2019 at 10:56 pm #

      Indeed they should

    • Safina khan August 21, 2019 at 10:58 pm #

      Totally agree! We frontline staff are equally vulnerable as the police yet we visit alone! A risk assessment for visits is key!

      • Sharon Worthington August 22, 2019 at 2:34 pm #

        I would totally agree with your comment.nurses are offered this however social workers arent offered self defence classes.
        A risk assessment does not reduce the risk of this happening again.

      • Val August 23, 2019 at 12:13 am #

        That is absolutely true. Single frontline visits to all kinds of adults in a crisis. We have to get permission to work in pairs. Or be told you will be ok. It is one big fob off and still quite underpaid and the staff under rated.

    • Belynda August 21, 2019 at 11:04 pm #

      Well said Debbie, it’s seems to be all about the Police, Fire Service and NHS and GP’s but social care,🙄who cares nobody 😤😤I visited people who potentially could be violent and abusive in my front line work, but like Belinda I am sure social care would not even make the news if we were attacked or worse.

    • Karen August 22, 2019 at 7:32 am #

      That is exactly right debbie. I work in the public sector and carry out community visits every day. We have ‘loneworker’ policies, do risk assessments and follow procedures, however one cannot be 100% protected. We all serve the public and this poor lady and her family should get exactly the same recognision.

    • Margaret Abbott August 22, 2019 at 8:22 am #

      I contacted the BBC regarding this as I only found out through social media. This could have been me and to know that there is so little regard for my former profession is heartbreaking. I know what a difficult and sometimes dangerous job it is.

    • June palmer August 22, 2019 at 9:35 am #

      Why has this not made headlines, it’s such a tragedy and highlights failings in continued risk assessment regarding jobs done by the likes of this social worker and the young policeman, my condolences to the family for their loss,

    • Harry August 22, 2019 at 11:37 am #

      I couldn’t agree more. The death of the police officer and the death of Rose are both terrible and it’s shameful that the national media are only covering one.

    • Matt August 31, 2019 at 11:34 am #

      Absolutely.

    • Ali Halliwell September 1, 2019 at 12:46 pm #

      Totally agree!

  5. Anne August 21, 2019 at 9:23 pm #

    Sincere Condolences to Lyn’s family and friends, reflection on the value as a society that is placed on those in the caring profession, no real regard to health and safety from either the private or public sector. Agree media coverage pitiful compared to the death of the police officer whose live was lost in the line of duty.

    This lady as noted was working past the old retirement age, as a support worker, a role in all care sectors that is usually the lowest paid, be it in children’s or adults, private, public or voluntary while all the directors or chief executives take home six figure salaries and head a culture where health and safety becomes the workers responsibility. Emphasis on workers’ behaviour when serious incident occur, how could they have de- escalated situation, has the worker completed a risk assessment. Detracting from the statutory employers responsibility for health and safety.

    Employers promoting culture of normalising acceptance of it all being part of the job……hope this really hits home, social care including social workers need to unite and insist on basic protections in the work place, doubling in up, ensuring time for managers to be doing the risk assessing – its their job! Caring profession remains female dominated perhaps why do not have same expectations as the Police. We work with vulnerable, often desperate people and those who are sometimes very ill, need to ensure a psychological informed approach that factors in risk not Mac Donald’s social work, social care work in my view is social work with less of the bureaucratic processing side.

    Unions need to be proactive and employees more aware of employment rights and employers health and safety duties.

    So sad, so angry, just left a management position due to senior and assistant managers blaming staff for being threatened with violence when there was clearly no regard for staff well being in terms of safety, no risk assessment just blaming worker when threats made to him.

    • Ex London Social Worker August 22, 2019 at 10:06 pm #

      Had a similar experience where senior managers of a London local authority have deliberately misled/lied to Ofsted inspectors about placing high risk young people with vulnerable young people in unsafe/unsupervised accommodation which enabled drug dealers to exploit and sexually assault young people. It also resulted in a resident being stabbed in her own flat. I reported this to the Director Assistant Director and the Chair of MARAC and within hours had the AD say I was making too many waves. I was constructively dismissed two weeks later for lame reasons that I had not improved young people’s health needs. There are three things I detest in some of people I work with: 1) People who lie to climb the career ladder 2)Fake empathy 3)People who have not worked on themselves and addressed their inner conflicts. Whilst this veers slightly from the topic discussed- the tragic death of social worker, how social workers are increasingly exposed to risk, undervalued by society – it speaks to the point that there is a widespread collective failure from the people who haven’t got a clue how to lead us. Politicians, many senior managers and so called top doctors. Clueless the lot of them.

  6. Susan Samuels August 21, 2019 at 10:32 pm #

    So very very sad to hear this. My condolences to the family. As someone pointed out, this did not reach national news. A life is a life, no matter what profession you are. Just like police officers, social workers are carrying out a dangerous job and are not given the recognition that they deserve. If anything, it’s always bad press, without recognising the positives. Make this be a lesson to all of us as social workers, always be on your guard and never become complacent about anyone or any given situation.

  7. Safina khan August 21, 2019 at 10:56 pm #

    Terrible tragedy, just shows how vulnerable we are in these roles.

  8. Marie August 22, 2019 at 12:41 am #

    Condolences to family and friends of Belinda.
    In 1996 my dissertation was based on violence towards social work staff. Despite Community Care publishing a two page article on the findings of this report I was told by the university staffing department it was dramatic and out of context.
    During this time a number of staff have died carrying out the duties of a social worker. No back up, no stab vests, batons, pepper spray, radio control or other such items. Yet we continue to undertake the complex and dangerous work associated with protecting children. I don’t want to be in a position where such items are necessary but professionals and the public need to realise the role of protecting children is frought with high emotion and danger.
    Rarely do these incidents get press coverage unlike police, education and health services. It is the unseen daily risk of our job. Almost as if it is excepted as part of the role.
    During my 30 year career as a social worker I have been abused and assaulted on a number of occasions as have my collegues.
    The public and the government need to know what is happening. I know at least 3 social workers who have been killed whilst undertaking their role. Not one has been mentioned in the national press, yet only this weekend a police officer was sadly murdered whilst undertaking his role in the community. Social work is no less dangerous than that of the police and other services.

    Social workers need to stand up and be heard if things are going to change.

  9. Tom August 22, 2019 at 7:52 am #

    Lone working in care proffesion or single crewing in Police force needs to stop now. Not after a review

  10. Harry August 22, 2019 at 11:39 am #

    The British Association of Social Workers must make every effort to get the national media to cover this awful killing of a social worker going about her essential work with vulnerable people. Rose’ death is a loss to society just as the death of the police officer in Berkshire is and the national media should cover this in the same way.

    • Aidan August 23, 2019 at 8:55 am #

      Totally agree with comments above. Many public service workers have to manage vulnerable, frustrated and emotionally ill people on a daily basis. It is the skill of these people to divert, calm down and resolve matters of concern that contains and prevents more serious incidents from occurring. Often at personal risk.

  11. jim August 22, 2019 at 1:56 pm #

    The UK Government and indeed now probably all EU Governments are wanting all of us to work until age 66 and beyond even in high risk jobs like social work especially in children’s and mental health services. Yet a Government minister can spend one 5 year term in office and walk away with a bigger pension than this poor murdered lady could get after 40 years of high stress dangerous work [and no professional bodyguards and secret service protecting her!] The Governing class really look after their own in this country

  12. S. Stables August 23, 2019 at 6:32 am #

    She was 63 years old and should not have even been working!! The poor woman should have been retired at 60 and enjoying her family after working all her life.
    My sincere condolences go out to her family, friends and everyone who knew her.

  13. Sue August 24, 2019 at 6:39 pm #

    I’m sad about the killing of the police officer, I’m also really sad about the killing of Belinda and my condolences go to the families of both. However I’m incredibly ticked off that the killing of the ‘social care worker’ was not deemed to be newsworthy.
    I would think when you join the police force you probably expect some ‘violence’ at some points in your career. When you become a social worker/ care worker, you go into this profession to support, enable and care about people, expecting little to no violence.
    I acknowledge there are risks with most jobs within the public sectors, however as social workers we don’t visit people wearing body armour nor do we carry tasers or CS gas. We are usually armed with a notepad and a pen!

  14. Chandra Nayee August 27, 2019 at 9:48 am #

    It’s really sad to hear of the news of the killing of the Police Officer, also the killing of the care worker. It’s not right that this did not hit the headlines, they both do a wonderful job helping the public.
    Both careers involve contact with the public and involve a certain amount of risk, which could really be risky and escalate into violence.
    It’s good there are risk assessments and procedures in place for public sector workers and trained and experienced workers working with the public, unfortunately there are still deaths.
    The only thing now is to learn from what went wrong and how this can be prevented in the future.
    maybe for social care workers there needs to be more protections in place such as tasters or cs gas. Safety of all workers, working with the public, Police, Social Care Workers need extra protection in place to continue to do their work safely.
    Also the media need to broadcast the news fairly, which shows the real news with Police Officer and Social care workers deaths, which would be recognised by the public.

  15. Malcolm August 29, 2019 at 8:51 am #

    I managed to find this story on the BBC website but it did not mention that this lady was a social worker carrying out her job. Social workers do a difficult job dealing with a wide range of incredibly challenging people and whilst the reduction of crime is not a part of the reason they go to work they undoubtedly change lives and make society a safer place. Yet when a social worker loses their life performing this public service, it is not as deserving a story as a police officer who loses his life in a similar way. Why do we undervalue this profession so much?

  16. A Health Visitor September 11, 2019 at 10:35 am #

    I’m sorry but you are reading too much into nurses having a risk assessment. Health visitors(public health nurses) have to do their own risk assessment (paper excercise) and then visit anyway. Social workers visit in pairs far more often than HV’s. In fact it is extremely rare that HV’s visit in pairs.

    • A social worker September 16, 2019 at 6:21 am #

      It’s pretty rare that social workers visit in pairs too in my experience. 2:1 care calls are challenged for necessity because of cost.