June 2, 2016
For years predating the horrific August 2015 killing of DCF Social Worker Lara Sobel, frontline DCF workers have been conducting a campaign to enhance their safety while at work. Now, DCF workers are finally seeing some movement to help them, with the signing of S. 154 and H. 878.
According to the Governor’s press release today S. 154 “aligns charges and penalties related to assaulting a social worker to that of assaulting a police officer, first responder, or medical provider – all which carry a stronger penalty than assault of an average person. The legislation also makes it easier for victims of stalking to obtain civil protection orders more swiftly.
The Governor also signed H.878, which includes $1 million to fund security upgrades at DCF and other state office buildings around the state.
“Lara’s dedication to caring for Vermont’s most vulnerable children will continue to serve as an inspiration to all of us," Gov. Shumlin said. "These new laws will help ensure the safety of all those who, like Lara, have dedicated themselves to protecting the Vermonters who need it most.””
Pictured here is VSEA Social Worker Trissie Casanova with Governor Shumlin at the bill signing today as well as holding the pen used to sign S.154 into law. Trissie has been a strong advocate for Social Workers this legislative session by testifying numerous times in support of these bills.
Thanks to Trissie and all the VSEA members who testified, made calls and contacted their lawmakers to get this important bill passed!
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