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NY Times Article Ponders Whether Budget Cuts Caused Social Worker’s Death

Stephanie Moulton. Photo courtesy of the New York Times.

The New York Times ran this in-depth article on Stephanie Moulton, 25, a Massachusetts social worker who was murdered on Jan. 20 by a mentally ill man in a group home she worked for.

The article points out how state budget cuts have harmed care for people with severe mental illnesses. Stephanie was the only residential counselor working at the group home that day.

Deshawn James Chappell, 27, who had been suffering from schizophrenia for years and committed several violent crimes, was charged with Stephanie’s murder.

There have been several reports in recent months of social workers assaulted or even killed on the job. The National Association of Social Workers’ 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 the safety of social workers on the job. To learn more click here.

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  1. I was assaulted at work in a group home, or Supported Apartment, as our agency referred to them. The assault occurred on 4.7.12, while I was at work, alone, with approximately 21 clients who suffered from a wide range of mental illnesses. The man that assaulted me was diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic. I sustained many injuries and had to have surgery on my shoulder to repair the damage.
    We were constantly understaffed. The only time we had more than one staff was Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday day, the rest of the time there was just one staff person to see to the needs of these many clients.

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