Health and Family Services Cabinet
Memorial honors slain social service aide Boni Frederick; Union County woman killed in line of duty one year ago
FRANKFORT, Ky. (Oct. 16, 2007) – The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) paid tribute to slain social service aide Boni Frederick at a memorial today in Morganfield.
Frederick, who worked in the Union County Department for Community Based Services (DCBS) office, was killed on Oct. 16, 2006, while she supervised an infant foster child’s home visit with his birth mother in Henderson, Ky.
Governor Ernie Fletcher said Frederick made the ultimate sacrifice.
“Rarely does a person make such a difference for so many people,” he said. “Boni made that kind of difference with her life and with her legacy, and now we are carrying on her mission to touch the lives of children who need us most.”
Frederick worked for DCBS for 15 years. Her duties included supervising visits between foster children and their birth parents and taking foster children to medical appointments.
Governor Fletcher said many good outcomes have emerged from the tragedy of Frederick’s death.
“Our loss has become the foundation of positive change,” he said. “It is the basis for a new understanding and appreciation so many people now have for the responsibilities and needs of social service staff.”
In April, Governor Fletcher signed the Boni Frederick Memorial Law, which improves safety for state human services workers and provides for the hiring of additional staff.
The Boni Frederick Law makes additional safety provisions. Local DCBS offices will receive security enhancements such as buzzer-entry systems that restrict access to staff work areas from front lobbies. DCBS staff will also have 24-hour access to criminal records.
Another of the law’s measures established a work group to include cabinet representatives and community advocates who will study child welfare and suggest methods for improving the system. The group has been meeting since March and last week helped coordinate a national forum for human services worker safety in Louisville.
At the memorial, Frederick’s daughter, Sandy Travis of Dixon, received a copy of the law signed by Governor Fletcher, as well as a Kentucky Colonel certificate in her mother’s honor. A proclamation by Governor Fletcher naming today Boni Frederick Memorial Day was presented to the Union County DCBS staff.
First Lady Glenna Fletcher, who spoke at the memorial, said many people have described Frederick’s service to the children of Kentucky as “a calling.”
“She dedicated herself to protecting children and she did so tirelessly and unselfishly,” he said. “A year later, we still grieve the loss of Boni Frederick, a devoted public servant and child advocate.”
Door of Hope, a pregnancy crisis center in Madisonville, and the Children’s Advocacy Center of the Green River District in Henderson, received donations in Frederick’s memory. Representatives from both groups spoke in gratitude for the gifts.
Latricia Fisher, communications director for Door of Hope, said her charity has received almost $500 in memory of Frederick.
The Children’s Advocacy Center has received more than $3,600 in Frederick’s name from donors across the country, said Paula Yevincy, the center’s executive director. Of the $3,600, a $1,000 donation came from ABC News, which won that amount for an award for its series on foster care, “A Call to Action: Saving our Children,” part of which was filmed in Kentucky.
“In Boni’s memory, people have reached into their hearts to give so that other children who are hurting may be comforted in some special way,” Yevincy said.
Frederick’s family also donated to the center many of the items Frederick shared with the children she assisted -- toys, costumes, baby supplies and clothes.
“Because of the continuing, kind donations, Boni’s legacy of optimism, generosity and love will continue to influence the future of Kentucky’s child welfare efforts,” the First Lady said.
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