Ky. Governor Signs Measure Strengthening Protections For Social Workers

Thursday, April 5th 2007, 9:35 pm
By: News On 6

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) _ A law strengthening on-the-job protections for social workers was signed into law by Gov. Ernie Fletcher on Thursday, six months after a worker was slain while taking an infant boy to visit his mother.

The legislation, named in Boni Frederick's honor, includes $6 million to hire 60 to 80 additional social workers and to improve safety procedures. The law will result in better security at social workers' offices and a safer environment for visits between birth parents and abused or neglected children. Social workers also will have around-the-clock access to criminal records.

``I would hope, first of all, that we don't have to attend any more funerals of our workers,'' Fletcher said, with a number of social workers looking on. ``Even though it wasn't everything that we wanted, it is a very good start.''

Frederick died in October after being stabbed and beaten when she took a 10-month-old boy for a visit at his mother's house. The youngster was found safe and returned to foster care after a three-day manhunt.

The boy's mother and her boyfriend have pleaded not guilty to murder, kidnapping, robbery and theft.