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VPR 2016 PRNDI Continuing Coverage Entry: Social Work and Child Welfare After DCF Murder

The state of Vermont was reeling after a social worker with the Department of Children and Families was murdered in August, apparently stemming from a custody dispute. VPR produced extensive coverage examining the challenges and criticisms of DCF and provided frequent updates on proposed changes to the strained protective services system.

Vermont Edition: Looking At Social Work and Child Welfare After Central Vermont Killings

In the wake of the tragic killings in Barre and Berlin, attention has focused in on the unique issues - and dangers - inherent in the field of social work, and particularly the charged issues around work in public child welfare.

We're looking at how social workers navigate these issues and how they're trained to deescalate potentially deadly or dangerous situations.

  • August 11, 2015
  • 45:50

News report: What's Behind The Online Criticism Of DCF Workers?

INTRO: After a Department for Children and Families social worker was shot dead outside the office earlier this month, state officials condemned online comments critical of DCF workers.

Those comments are often just one side of a very complicated story, and that can make it hard to separate fact from fiction.

  • August 17, 2015
  • 3:25 

News Report: Despite The Risks, DCF Employees Remain Committed To Their Jobs

INTRO: The August shooting death of a social worker for the Department for Children and Families shocked many Vermonters.

DCF Commissioner Ken Schatz says family welfare agencies in neighboring states say they too are seeing an increase in threatening behavior toward social workers. It’s a situation that he says has made a difficult job even harder.

But several family service employees in Rutland say it’s also made them more committed than ever to their work.

  • October 22, 2015
  • 4:44

Vermont Edition segment: State Employees Union Makes Recommendations For Social Workers' Safety

INTRO: The death of Lara Sobel, a social worker for the Department for Children and Families who was fatally shot outside a state office building in Barre in August, was deeply unsettling. And it raised serious concerns about safety for Vermont social workers.  

On Wednesday, the Vermont State Employees Association presented three safety recommendations to a legislative committee. Trissie Casanova is a social worker and VSEA member spoke with Vermont Edition about the recommendations.

  • November 19, 2015
  • 5:57

News Report: New Plan Will Invest $8.4 Million In Vermont's Child-Welfare System

INTRO: The number of children taken into state custody has jumped by 40 percent over the past two years. The increase has overwhelmed the child-welfare system, and the Shumlin administration is now calling for substantial new investments in state and county personnel.

  • December 3, 2015
  • 2:42

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