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Saskatchewan Social Worker Stabbed
September 26, 2014 permalink
An unidentified Regina social worker has been stabbed. Client Colleen Piapot, age 21, sought out the worker at her home for the attack. Assistant Deputy Minister of Disability of Programs Bob Wihlidal says: “For example, for income assistance, we have about 65,000 client interactions every month and since 2012, so the past two and a half years, there have been 38 incidents of violence and those were threats of violence.” Income assistance is not the kind of interaction that gets a social worker stabbed.
Stabbing of Regina social worker highlights risks of the job
REGINA – More details are emerging about a stabbing that sent one woman to hospital and another behind bars facing attempted murder charges.
The victim of the attack on September 17th was a 49-year-old social worker in Regina.
According to the owner of The Mercury Café & Grill, Chris Plumb, the victim sought help at his café just before 10:00 p.m.
“We’re sitting here, having drinks on the patio for a private birthday party and a woman came from down the road holding her arms,” he recalled. “We didn’t realize until she got here that she was asking for help.”
Plumb says he and his staff helped the woman while they waited for police and emergency crews to arrive.
“She was in a panic, right. She was a little traumatized at the time when she came in,” he added. “Once we got a look at her you could tell she’d been stabbed. Numerous times, at least five from what I could tell.”
EMS brought the woman to hospital with serious injuries and police later located and arrested Colleen Piapot.
The 21-year-old is now facing attempted murder charges.
The woman was a social worker and according to Plumb told staff at the café she’d been attacked at her home by a client.
“Something went south and the client got mad, grabbed a butcher knife and started swinging,” he recounted.
The social services ministry doesn’t comment on a particular case, but Assistant Deputy Minister of Disability of Programs Bob Wihlidal, said protocols are in place regarding a client visiting a social worker’s residence.
“Yes there would be protocols and policies in place around relationships between clients and workers,” he added. “No, I wouldn’t say workers do work out of their houses.”
Wihlidal adds that safety is a top priority and while the risks for employees is a reality, violent interactions are relatively rare.
“For example, for income assistance, we have about 65,000 client interactions every month and since 2012, so the past two and a half years, there have been 38 incidents of violence and those were threats of violence.”
Bob Bymoen is the president of the Saskatchewan Government and General Employees’ Union and said the attack is a reminder about the risks social workers face on the job.
He added more needs to be done to ensure employee’s safety.
“The ministry does have some policies and protocols, there is some trainings, but as budgets get strained, training is get difficult,” he explained. “That’s why one of the things I’ve asked the government on behalf of the employees over the years is more opportunities for training.”
All reported violent incident are reviewed, but Plumb says he’s just grateful he and his staff were there to help when the outcome could have turned out a lot worse.
“She came to the right place where people do care and want to help.”
Piapot’s next court date is set for October 1st.
Source: Global News
Addendum: Two weeks after the stabbing there is an unusual twist. The lady accused of attempted murder was a former foster child and the stabbing victim was her social worker.
Stabbing case in Regina involves social worker and former client
A stabbing case before the courts in Regina has taken an unusual turn with an allegation that the victim and alleged stabber were involved in an inappropriate relationship.
Colleen Piapot, 21, appeared in court Wednesday on a charge of attempted murder. Piapot is accused of stabbing a long-time social worker multiple times. She was arrested on Sept. 17 when, according to police, a 49-year-old woman was taken to hospital with stab wounds following an incident that took place in Regina's Cathedral neighbourhood.
Outside of provincial court Wednesday, Piapot's sister Terrilyn told CBC News that she and Colleen were once clients of the social worker.
"She used to be our social worker when we were young kids and we were in foster care," Terrilyn Piapot, the older of the two women, said outside court. "I guess Colleen has kept a relationship with her all of our lives."
She also claimed that the relationship involved some questionable activities, saying the social worker gave her sister money, food and alcohol.
Colleen Piapot's next court appearance was set for later in October.
There was no immediate information available on the condition of the injured woman.
A confidential source has confirmed to CBC News that an investigation has begun in the ministry of social services, looking into the allegations.
On Wednesday, officials from the province declined to comment on the case noting the matter was before the courts.
In a statement officials said that staff in the social services ministry "are required to conduct themselves in a professional and ethical manner. Any allegation of staff misconduct is treated very seriously and thoroughly investigated."
The government added that when allegations of misconduct do arise such cases are investigated and would include the employee's union.