National Child Welfare Workforce Institute - Learning, Leading Changing
Worker Safety & Stress
A Message to the Workforce

Last Friday, we lost a dedicated member of our child welfare community. Lara Sobel was a Vermont DCF Caseworker, and a Title IV-E graduate from the University of Vermont. By all accounts, she was "a beautiful, beautiful individual [who] really, really cared about the kids, all the kids" (Joseph Faryniarz, cousin of Sobel's husband). We offer our deepest condolences to her colleagues, family members and friends, and to the children and families on her caseload, as they mourn her loss. 

As we collectively grieve the untimely death of Lara Sobel, we acknowledge the struggles and sacrifices that our child welfare professionals must make as they do the difficult, meaningful work of engaging with families and protecting children. We share a deep appreciation for the courage and tenacity required to keep children safe and strengthen families. It is our hope that in this time of bereavement, we will use our collective sorrow to bolster efforts to advance worker safety and the range of resources needed to effectively support the child welfare workforce. 

We have received many requests for resources and offers to help. Below are links to some safety-related materials we have collected, for you to review and share. We also invite you to offer your condolences and your perspectives about the critical importance of child welfare staff HERE, which we'll send along to Vermont.

If you have your own safety-related resources you would like for us to share with our colleagues in Vermont or the field at large, please email [email protected].

Worker Safety
If you have any questions or concerns you wish to share, please contact [email protected].




The NCWWI Team

In Memory of Lara Sobel

Lara Sobel, a 14-year veteran of the Vermont Department for Children and Families, was shot and killed on August 7, 2015.  We mourn the loss of this courageous and dedicated child welfare professional who made the ultimate sacrifice in her protection of a child. We stand in solidarity with her colleagues and the Vermont community as they grieve and try to support her friends and family during this difficult time.  




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