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Governor Noem calls for prevention of child abuse, neglect





For Immediate Release: Monday, April 4, 2022
DSS Media Contact: Steve Long, steve.long@state.sd.us or 605.773.5465

 

Governor Noem calls for prevention of child abuse, neglect


PIERRE – Governor Kristi Noem has proclaimed April as Child Abuse Prevention Month to help bring an end to abuse and neglect in South Dakota. The Department of Social Services (DSS) is asking everyone to be vigilant in watching for signs of a problem and to report anything suspicious.

 

“Child abuse or neglect is never acceptable,” said DSS Cabinet Secretary Laurie Gill.
“We can all play a role in prevention by watching out for children and supporting families.” 

 

Ending child abuse and neglect requires the teamwork of families, friends, neighbors, child welfare professionals, schools, medical facilities, community and faith-based organizations, businesses, law enforcement, and the public.

 

In state fiscal year 2021, DSS’ Division of Child Protection Services (CPS) received more than 16,000 reports of child abuse and neglect. Efforts are made by CPS to work with parents to resolve problems and ensure their children can remain safely in their home. When it is determined that children cannot safely remain in their home, they are placed with a relative and if a relative is not available, with a foster family.

 

“DSS has resources to help parents develop skillsets to prevent abuse or neglect before it ever happens,” Gill said.  “Parents can learn healthy ways to cope with stress, mental health, substance use issues, and other factors that can lead to child abuse and neglect.”

 

To report child abuse or neglect, please call 1.877.244.0864. Intake Specialists are available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. If reporting an emergency situation outside of normal business hours or on the weekend or holidays, please contact local law enforcement.

 

To learn more and to find resources, go to dss.sd.gov/childprotection/nationalchildabuse.

 

To learn more about becoming a foster or adoptive parent, please call 888.201.5061 or visit www.StrongerFamiliesTogether.com and fill out the online “Commit to know more” card.