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Mother of slain social worker seeking “Stephanie’s Law”

Robert Moulton (left), father of slain social worker Stephanie Moulton; Stephanie Moulton's mother Kimberly Flynn and Ryan Papazian, Stepanie's fiance, at a Salem Park and Recreation Board meeting. Photo courtesy of the Salem News.

Kimberly Flynn,mother of slain social worker Stephanie Moulton, is seeking a law in Massachusetts that would require mental health workers and counselors get emergency alert or panic buttons, according to this article in the Salem News.

The buttons would be monitored 24 hours and trigger a police response.

Flynn has the support of Massachusetts Senate Majority Leader Fred Berry (D), who introduced the bill.

Moulton was alone in a group home in January when she was beaten and stabbed to death by a resident with a history of mental illness and violent offenses. Deshawn Chappell will be put on trial for her murder next April.

“She can’t die for no reason,” Flynn said. “No other family can go through this.”

NASW’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 on the job. 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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  1. I would PAY for one of these devices. I’ve recently been tempted to leave a home health position due to concerns for my safety. Any type of job that requires home visits is dangerous, and I definitely feel that there should be some check system in place to keep people safe!

  2. I certainly hope this law passes. Every state should incorporate these safety measures immediately. One never knows what they will encounter on the other side of the door. Everyone needs to speak up!!

  3. Social workers are robbed, raped, and beaten and threatened more often than we would like to admit. Clients who have both mental illness and substance abuse (MISA) are dangerous! Forensic social workers may need to be armed when in the community. OC (pepper spray) and impact weapons are also effective and do not require a long training curve.

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