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Governor Patrick signs Social Work Safety bill

Governor Deval Patrick participated in a ceremonial bill signing at the State House on Friday afternoon for the Social Work Safety bill. The Providers' Council and its members, including Family Continuity CEO Skip Stuck who was integral in the legislative process, attended the bill signing on Friday.

The Social Work Safety bill text is as follows:

The Executive Office of Health and Human Services shall promulgate regulations within six months of the effective date of this act to ensure that all programs providing direct services to clients and operated by or licensed, certified, or funded by a department or division of the executive office of health and human services (“programs”) have a workplace violence prevention and crisis response plan updated at least annually for social workers, human services workers, volunteers, and all other employees. Each such program shall provide a copy of the current plan to any employee of the program who requests it.

Workplace violence prevention and crisis response plans may include: (a) establishment of a system for centrally recording all incidents of workplace violence or threats of workplace violence against social workers, human services workers, volunteers, and all other employees providing direct services; (b) preparation of a written violence prevention and crisis response plan that includes measures the program intends to take to respond to any incident of workplace violence against social workers, human services workers, volunteers, and all other employees providing direct services; (c) providing each such worker with a copy of the violence prevention and crisis response plan; (d) implementing training to educate social workers, human services workers, volunteers, and all other employees providing direct services about workplace violence and ways to reduce risks; and (e) developing and maintaining a violence prevention and response team or committee to monitor ongoing compliance with the violence prevention and crisis response plan and to assist any social workers, human services workers, volunteers, and all other employees providing direct services who may be victimized by or threatened with workplace violence. Programs that do not have training in place shall require their employees to enroll in training to be developed and offered by the executive office of health and human services.