Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Lorber Named 2008 Public Official of the Year


Lorber, Other Award Winners to be Honored at Annual Conference

Oct. 22, 2008 -- Montpelier, VT -- Rep. Jason P. Lorber (D-Burlington) was named 2008 Public Official of the Year by the National Association of Social Workers -- Vermont Chapter (NASW-VT), for his work on behalf of children whose parents are sent to prison.

In addition to Lorber's award, NASW-VT also recognized Ellen Fein, a licensed clinical social worker in Montpelier, as Social Worker of the Year, and Mark Hage, with the Vermont Education Association, as Public Citizen of the Year for his leadership and the work of the Vermont Campaign for Healthcare Security and Education Fund in expanding access to state-supported health insurance programs for all Vermonters.

"In these troubling economic times, the role and perspective of social workers are increasingly important," said Rilla Murray, executive director of the NASW-VT. "We particularly appreciate of the leadership of Rep. Jason Lorber, Ellen Fein, and Mark Hage and the Vermont Campaign. Each has supported the values of the social work profession, served the cause of social justice and provided inspiration to others in meeting challenges.”

"When parents are sent to jail, we have a moral responsibility to minimize the harm done to their children," said Lorber. "Those kids need to know that they did nothing wrong. We need to know that, too. And we need to take action."

Lorber worked closely with Director of Kids-A-Part Tara Graham, Rep. Sandy Hass (P-Rochester), and other key legislators on bills dubbed "Remember the Children" legislation. Lorber's leadership was critical in passing a new law in 2008 that requires the Vermont Department of Corrections to investigate how many thousands of Vermont children are affected by their parents' incarceration, and calls upon several agencies to recommend safeguards and improvements.

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At November 02, 2008 1:19 AM, Anonymous Ivan Jacobs said...

Congrats Jason on this well-deserved recognition. Thanks for your work on this issue!


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