Budgets cut, less money for social workers' safety

DIXON, Ky. (AP) - The daughter of a slain western Kentucky
social worker is complaining that budget cuts have undercut a
highly touted state law meant to upgrade safety for social workers.
Sandy Travis told The Courier-Journal of Louisville that
officials who backed the 2007 law named for her mother haven't
followed through since the measure passed.
"I think they need to be reminded that this is serious - this
is dangerous," she told the newspaper.
Travis' mother, Boni Frederick, was ambushed, stabbed and
bludgeoned three years ago after taking an infant for what was to
be a final home visit.
The "Boni Bill" authorized a one-time expenditure of $6
million to hire more workers, assess security of social service
offices and make security improvements. But lawmakers allocated
only $2 million of that, forcing the Cabinet for Health and Family
Services to fund the rest from its existing budget while dealing
with a series of funding cuts amid the state's growing shortfall.
State social workers increasingly are worried about their safety
as they work with clients, some of whom are hostile, threatening,
mentally ill or impaired by drugs and alcohol, said Susan Barkulis,
organizing director for the American Federation of State, County
and Municipal Employees.

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