Lynne A. Valenti
Cabinet Secretary

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April 26, 2016

Changes to Department of Social Services’ Chemical Dependency Programs Announced

PIERRE, S.D. – The Department of Social Services (DSS) announces the closure of the adolescent inpatient chemical dependency program at the Human Services Center in Yankton, S.D., effective June 8, 2016, and increased services for adults with chemical dependency needs.

Over the past several years there has been a decline in the number of statewide referrals for inpatient chemical dependency services for adolescents. The statewide decline in the need for this level of care for adolescents has resulted in more capacity than is needed to meet the demands. Currently more than half of the 75 beds available in the community are open.  HSC’s 20-bed program has seen a significant decline in its average daily population over the last two years, declining from 14.3 in FY14 to 4.3 in FY16 to date. Currently there are no adolescents being served by the program.

In addition to the change in utilization trends, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services also offered recent guidance regarding the types of services that can be provided in acute inpatient treatment programs.

The 15 staff that support the program were notified today of the decision to close the program and were provided layoff notices. There will be other opportunities within HSC for the staff directly impacted by the closure of the program. At this time, there are no plans to use the unit for other services.

“I thank the staff who work in this program for their dedicated service to the youth they have served over the years, and I am thankful that we have other positions in the hospital available to staff who choose to remain at HSC,” said state Department of Social Services Secretary Lynne Valenti.

Impacted employees have been provided summary information of benefits and rights, including health, life and unemployment insurance, and conditions of reemployment preference. Reemployment preference guarantees the employee an interview for each career service position for which they apply for one year. 

“In the case of adolescent chemical dependency services, there is adequate community capacity through the four community inpatient programs to meet the need,” said Secretary Valenti. “As with all the services provided throughout the department, we strive to serve individuals in the least restrictive setting.”

While the need for inpatient chemical dependency treatment for adolescents has declined, the need for adult inpatient chemical dependency treatment in the state has increased. Due to this increase, the Division of Behavioral Health recently issued a competitive request for proposals for adult inpatient chemical dependency treatment and detox services. DSS is pleased to announce Lewis and Clark Behavioral Health in Yankton will be partnering with Avera Sacred Heart to provide inpatient chemical dependency and detox services to individuals from across the state.

“With the addition of this new program, adults with significant chemical dependency needs will have increased access to services to meet their complex conditions through a network of providers,” said Secretary Valenti.

For more information about mental health and substance use programs visit the DSS website at

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