The Murder of a Vermont Social Worker…

Even as the child welfare system in British Columbia yet again comes under a significant scrutiny, and even as the unimpressive quality of social work practice in a specific area been skewered and exposed by the exquisitely reasoned and measured critique of the Provincial Supreme Court and even as the Provincial Government again (as it so often has before) failed to accept that the system is broken, or, at the very least, incredibly bent, another jurisdiction, also undergoing critical examination, has suffered an inexcusable loss. The murder of Vermont Social Worker, Lara Sopel, is a worst case scenario, not often experienced, but frequently considered, by many child protection social workers.

Child Protection work is fraught with high emotion, powerful decision points, difficult ramifications no matter the outcome, and, as so evident in the murder of Lara Sopel, heavy with risk, not only for the children and others intimately involved, but also for those charged with the complex mandate of Child Welfare and the protection of children.

As weak as it is, I offer my heartfelt condolences to the family, the friends, the colleagues and the clients Ms. Sopel.


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