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Man Accused of Murdering Social Worker Must Undergo Evaluation

Kathleen Smith. Photo courtesy of

A judge has ordered a competency hearing for a homeless man accused of murdering Vermont social worker Kathleen Smith in 2010, according to this article on

Jose Pazos, 46, pleaded not guilty and wants to defend himself in court.

Smith, 50, worked in a home for people with mental health problems. She was found tied with ropes in her home and had died from bleeding from a neck wound.

According to previous news reports Pazos may have been angry with Smith because she sided with the mother of his child in a custody case.

Smith was murdered at home. However, many social workers are concerned about safety on the job.The National Association of Social Worker’s¬†Center for Workforce Studies and the Center for Health Workforce Studies at the University¬†at Albany did a survey that found that four out of 10 social workers face personal safety issues at their work site. To learn more about that study, click here. NASW is also committed to improving social worker safety. To learn more click here. And the National Association of Social Workers Massachusetts Chapter Committee for the Study and Prevention of Violence against Social Workers created a general guideline to improve safety. To read the guide click here.

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