Governor Noem calls for community support for the prevention of child abuse, neglect

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For Immediate Release: Monday, April 3, 2023
DSS Media Contact: or 605.773.3165

Governor Noem calls for community support for the 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 working to enhance awareness and offer tools for prevention. 

“Children are our future.  A healthy society safeguards them and preserves their innocence. Therefore, child abuse and neglect must be prevented. To do so requires teamwork,” said DSS Cabinet Secretary Matt Althoff.

Help can come from a variety of sources: families, friends, neighbors, child welfare professionals, schools, medical facilities, community and faith-based organizations, businesses, law enforcement, and the public.

Example warning signs of abuse and neglect may include a child showing changes in behavior, having unexplained injuries, or displaying fearfulness. The adage, “see something, say something” resonates. If a warning sign is witnessed, report it early.

“Prevention activities include checking on families with children, asking meaningful questions of parents in times of stress, and offering compassionate support,” Althoff said. “DSS has resources available for parents and caregivers to help address a broad range of needs including mental health services, substance use and recovery services, parenting education, child care services, and economic assistance.”

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 help safeguard our most vulnerable, please take action. Don’t wait for others.

To learn more and to find resources, go to

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