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Governor Noem Announces Changes to Oversight of Private Treatment Facilities for Children and Youth





For Immediate Release

December 12, 2019

Contact: Kristin Wileman

 

Governor Noem Announces Changes to Oversight of Private Treatment Facilities for Children and Youth

 

PIERRE, S.D. - Governor Kristi Noem today announced that she will bring legislation in the 2020 session that will improve the oversight of private treatment facilities for children and youth.

 

“The health and safety of the next generation is our top priority. We cannot let kids fall through the cracks,” said Noem. “I’ve tasked my Department of Social Services with improving the wellbeing of kids and youth placed in treatment facilities across the state. In the 2020 session, I will bring legislation that prioritizes the safety of at-risk kids.”

 

In June, Governor Noem charged the Department of Social Services (DSS) with conducting a full analysis on the process for licensing and inspecting private treatment facilities for children and youth. The governor asked DSS to fully evaluate the Department’s role in ensuring the wellbeing and safety of children placed there.

 

DSS, with input from multiple state agencies including the departments of Public Safety, Corrections, Health, Human Services, and Education, developed a report to help identify reforms. The analysis included a review of the role state agencies play surrounding accreditation and licensing of treatment facilities for children and youth in South Dakota. The report focused on licensing, accreditation, and certification processes; complaint and investigation processes; corrective action plans; and transparency and confidentiality of investigations. 

 

“I have asked Secretary Gill to develop a work plan to implement the comprehensive list of recommendations included in the report,” concluded Noem.

 

For more information about the report, visit dss.sd.gov.