Lynne A. Valenti
Cabinet Secretary

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April 1, 2009

Governor Rounds declares April as
Child Abuse Prevention Month

PIERRE, S.D. Gov. Mike Rounds has declared April as Child Abuse Prevention Month in South Dakota to help shed light on an ongoing problem, while encouraging state and community involvement to help break the cycle of abuse.

“Every child is entitled to be safe, secure and cared for, but unfortunately that is not always the case,” Gov. Rounds said. “During this month, and throughout the year we should be vigilant when it comes to the safety and well-being of all children in South Dakota.”

Child Abuse Prevention Month provides an opportunity for communities across the state to work together to keep children safe and provide the support families need to stay together.

Individuals can help prevent child abuse by:

  • Learning about the signs of child abuse and neglect. Educate yourself on the signs of child abuse and neglect, and be prepared to recognize them. Learn more about the common signs of abuse and neglect at Protective.
  • Asking for help if you need it. As a caregiver, there are many resources available to provide support. Common Sense Parenting classes are held throughout the state and cover topics ranging from reducing family stress to enriching relationships with your child. For more information on Common Sense Parenting, visit Parenting Program.
  • Offering a helping hand to friends and neighbors. Let parents know you are available and willing to talk, or offer to give parents a rest by taking care of the children. You can also volunteer your time to local community programs that provide support for families, such as after-school, athletic or church activities.
  • Reporting suspected child abuse and neglect. If you have reason to believe a child has been or may be harmed, contact your local Department of Social Services office or police department to report it.
  • Wearing a blue ribbon. Each year citizens are asked to wear a blue ribbon or tie one to their vehicle antennas throughout the month of April, to spread the message of child abuse prevention.

The Department of Social Services is committed to promoting healthy families and safe communities by providing support services for families in need. The Division of Child Protection Services responds to reports of child abuse and neglect, including supporting children and families in situations deemed unsafe for the child.

Note: To view the Governor’s Executive Proclamation.