Bill would mandate safety protocols for mental health and social workers
WCAX.com Feb. 11, 2015
MONTPELIER, Vt. - There's a new push to keep mental health providers and other social workers safe on the job.
With state mental health facilities stretched to the limit in recent years, and long wait times for those patients at hospital emergency rooms, a number of mental health professionals have spoken out about attacks and injuries on the job.
Rep. Ann Pugh, D-South Burlington, says her bill would require state agencies, and organizations with state contracts, to create safety protocols. "Social workers do home visits and social workers, other mental health professionals -- nurses -- oftentimes find themselves in situations that could be risky or where there might be safety concerns," Pugh said
Rep. Pugh teaches at UVM's Department of Social Work. She says surprisingly few organizations have safety protocols in place for workers in the field.
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Stuart Friedman: Kentucky prison not a good bargain for Vermonters
VT Digger Commentary by Stuart Friedman, Nov 2014
The appearance recently of officials from the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) before a special panel of the Vermont Legislature was of special interest to me as I visited the Lee Adjustment Center only three days earlier. This is the rural Kentucky facility that houses about 480 Vermont offenders under contract to the Vermont Department of Corrections. In the hearing, legislators grilled the CCA officials, focusing on staffing levels, pay and the training and experience of the staff.
These are important matters and warrant further investigation. But during my visit, during which I spent time with the warden and inmates and toured the entire facility, other serious matters emerged that should raise concern as well, for legislators and all Vermonters. There is no argument that those who offend society have earned some consequence, but unless we are to lock up people for their entire lives, we should also be concerned about their condition when they are eventually released and reintegrated into their families and community. By these measures it was my impression that the Kentucky facility is not a good bargain for Vermonters, whether offender, family member, or the public at large.
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Upcoming NASW- Ethics Workshop
The Social Worker as Moral Agent: Acting Ethically When Ethical Actions are at Odds with Regulations, Policies, and Laws
Vermont College of Fine Arts, Montpelier
9 am- 12 for 3 Ethics CEU's
Stay Late to network with other social workers!
Early bird rate until Feb 27: $35 Members/$45 non-members
The NASW Code of Ethics asks social workers to give the highest priority to ethical practice, and acknowledges that " the Code offers a set of values, principles, and standards to guide decision making and conduct when ethical issues arise. It does not provide a set of rules that prescribe how social workers should act in all situations." The Code also acknowledges that "instances may arise when social workers’ ethical obligations conflict with agency policies or relevant laws or regulations." This program will provide social workers with a framework for ethical action when they find themselves in this sort of ethical quandary.
For more information or to register, click here.