NASW mourns death of Illinois Department of Children and Family Services Investigator Deidre Silas
WASHINGTON, D.C. - the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) mourns the death of Illinois Department of Children and Family Services investigator Deidre Silas, who was murdered during a home visit on Tuesday. We offer our condolences to her husband, two children and colleagues.
Silas’s death underscores the need for Congress and state legislatures to enact legislation to improve the safety of essential workers who are tasked with protecting our nation’s children from neglect and abuse.
NASW supports legislation to promote social work safety, including the Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act (H.R. 1195) and the Protecting Social Workers and Health Professionals from Workplace Violence Act, that was introduced in previous Congresses. We urge the Senate to take up the House-passed bill- H.R. 1195 and to introduce and pass the Protecting Social Workers and Health Professionals from Workplace Violence Act as soon as possible.
NASW Chapters are also pushing for legislation on a state level around safe child welfare caseloads, adequate staffing, emergency technology and improved training in risk assessment and de-escalation.
“It is imperative that government agencies and child welfare organizations create safe working environments, provide the necessary supports and salaries for all frontline workers, including social workers who are sometimes at great risk in their practice. It is also important that we understand that Ms. Silas death (and others like hers) are preventable and as a society we should do everything in our power to end tragic outcomes like we have seen today.” said NASW CEO Angelo McClain, PhD, LICSW, said.
The National Association of Social Workers (NASW), in Washington, DC, is the largest membership organization of professional social workers. It promotes, develops, and protects the practice of social work and social workers. NASW also seeks to enhance the well-being of individuals, families, and communities through its advocacy.