Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Senator Thompson Named Public Official of the Year by NASW
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LITTLE ROCK - Senator Robert Thompson of Paragould has been named the 2012 Elected Public Official of the Year by the Arkansas chapter of the National Association of Social Workers.
The chapter has about 800 members in Arkansas and about 150,000 nationwide. The group's executive director, Julia Baldwin, said that Thompson was chosen for the award because of his commitment to the state's most vulnerable and needy citizens.
During the 2011 regular session Thompson sponsored Act 1004, which authorizes health care providers to report instances of physical abuse to law enforcement authorities, if the provider has reason to believe such a report is needed to prevent serious injury.
In some cases of domestic abuse the victim does not go to the authorities and the abuser continues to regularly beat the victim. In the past, physicians, therapists and nurses who treated victims of abuse had to keep confidential the nature of the victim's injuries. There have been cases where victims were beaten numerous times, but health care providers were unable to report it to authorities and finally the victims were killed by their abusers.
"Act 1004 will make an enormous difference in protecting victims of physical abuse, and that's why Senator Thompson deserves this award," Baldwin said.
"Receiving this award from the social workers of Arkansas is particularly meaningful because of the great respect I have for them and the work they do," Thompson said.
"They help people put their lives and families back together. We should all be thankful for the work they do every day," Thompson said.