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H.R.2165 - Teri Zenner Social Worker Safety Act
To establish a grant program to assist in the provision of safety measures to protect social workers and other professionals who work with at-risk populations.
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May 3, 2007
Mr. MOORE of Kansas (for himself, Mrs. MCCARTHY of New York, Ms. SHEA-PORTER, Mr. HARE, Mr. MANZULLO, Mr. POE, and Mr. RAMSTAD) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Education and LaborCommentsClose CommentsPermalink
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
SEC. 2. FINDINGS.
(2) On August 17, 2004, Teri Zenner, a social worker and case manager with Johnson County Mental Health Center, was stabbed and killed during a routine, in-home visit with a client.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(3) Based on OSHA's most recently published `Guidelines for Preventing Workplace Violence for Health Care & Social Service Workers', 48 percent of all non-fatal injuries from occupational assaults and violent acts occurred in the fields of health care and social services.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(4) A major study by the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, found that 70 percent of front-line child welfare workers had been victims of violence or threats in the line of duty. A review of the 585 exit interviews found that 90 percent of former child welfare workers experienced verbal threats, 30 percent experienced physical attacks, and 13 percent had been threatened with weapons.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(6) Based on 2000 Bureau of Labor Statistics findings, social service workers in the public sector, including social workers and case workers, are approximately 7 times more likely to be the victims of violent assaults while at work than are workers in the private sector.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(7) States such as California, New Jersey, and Washington, and the National Association of Social Workers, have all developed various safety programs with safety guidelines for social workers and case workers to follow while in the course of their employment;CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(8) Social workers and case workers elevate service to others above self-interest, and draw on their knowledge, values and skills to help people in need and to address social problems. Job-related violence against social workers and case workers affects these hard-working and dedicated individuals, their families, their clients, and their communities throughout the United States;CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(9) There is a need to increase public awareness and understanding of job-related violence in the field of social services and to meet the needs of social workers and case workers in preventing such violence. Although not every incident of job-related violence can be prevented, many can, and the severity of injuries sustained by social workers and case workers can be reduced.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
SEC. 3. SOCIAL WORKER SAFETY GRANT PROGRAM.
(a) Grants Authorized- The Secretary of Health and Human Services (the `Secretary'), through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, is authorized to award grants to States to provide safety measures to social workers and other professionals working with violent, drug-using, or other at-risk populations.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(1) The procurement and installation of safety equipment, including communications systems, such as GPS tracking devices and GPS cell telephones to assist agencies in locating staff, and any technical assistance and training for safety communications.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(1) IN GENERAL- A State seeking a grant under subsection (a) shall submit an application to the Secretary, at such time, in such manner, and accompanied by such additional information as the Secretary may require.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(e) Quality Assurance and Cost-Effectiveness- The Secretary shall establish guidelines for assuring the cost-effectiveness and quality of the safety measures funded under this section.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(f) Technical Assistance- The Secretary may provide technical assistance to grant recipients with respect to planning, developing, and implementing safety measures under the grant.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(2) the range and scope of training opportunities, including numbers and percentage of social workers engaged in the training programs funded in whole or in part by such grant; andCommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(i) Authorization of Appropriations- There is authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary of Health and Human Services $5,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2008 through 2012 to carry out this Act.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink