Dear CWA Sisters and Brothers,
On Friday, September 29, 2017, at 5 p.m., Pamela Knight, a 57 year old child protective services worker employed by the State of Illinois, received a call that a 2 year old child on her caseload was unsafe.
Instead of going home, she rushed to the home of the child with a member of the county
Sheriff’s department to remove the child. When she arrived at the home, the father had left the home with the child and was reportedly at his parents’; home in another county. The Sheriff’s officer could not go to that county. Pam called the county sheriff’s department in that county asking that someone meet her at the grandparents’ home.
But no officer was there when Pam arrived at the grandparents’ home. When Pam went into the home, she was brutally attacked by the father, and as a result of that attack she went into a coma and she remained unconscious until Thursday, February 8, 2018, when she died. Her attacker has been charged with first degree attempted murder. Pam’s local union, AFSCME, contributed to a fund to support Pam’s family, and Pam’s husband has thankfully received the fund and has asked that no further funds be contributed to the
family. Mr. Knight has dedicated himself to changing the policies and laws in Illinois that did not protect his wife.
In honor of Pamela, and of all child protective services workers, CWA is asking our members to sign on to the following letter which will accompany a plaque and be shared with Pam’s family.
With Deepest Sympathy to the Family and Friends of Pamela Knight: We, like Pamela Knight, have dedicated our work lives to the safety and protection of children.
In honor of her sacrifice and commitment to children, and because Pamela Knight’s death was not in vain, the CWA Members and New Jersey child protective services workers do take this solemn vow:
We dedicate ourselves to not only the noble task of rescuing children and families destroyed by abuse and neglect, but we commit to each other and to all child protective services workers, our solemn promise that we will stand in solidarity to keep each other safe and that we will demand that all workers are protected from violence as they carry out their duties. In honor of Pamela Knight, we commit that we will never cease fighting for the safety of our sisters and brothers who every day, labor so that all children may be safe from abuse and neglect.
Rest in Peace, Pamela Knight.