Lynne A. Valenti
Cabinet Secretary

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March 29, 2017

Rapid City Department of Social Services Hosts Art Exhibit for Children in Foster Care

PIERRE, S.D. – The Department of Social Services (DSS) in Rapid City is hosting a special art exhibit at the Dahl Fine Arts Center on April 8, 2017, from 4 to 6 p.m. Children in foster care will be displaying their art work for the next month in honor of National Child Abuse Prevention Month. 

During the month of April, and throughout the year, DSS encourages individuals and organizations to play a role in making Rapid City a better place for children and families.

“April is a time to celebrate the important role that our community plays in protecting children and strengthening families,” said Child Protective Services Director Virgena Wieseler. “We can help prevent child abuse and neglect by making meaningful connections with children and families in our community by ensuring parents have the knowledge, skills and resources they need to care for their children.”

In Pennington County, 314 children were brought into protective custody during the last fiscal year. Currently there are 88 licensed foster families in Pennington County. Over 80 percent of the children who enter care return home to their families within the first 12 months of placement.

“There is a critical need for more families in the Rapid City area who are willing to keep siblings together, open their homes to children of all ages and especially teens, and for American Indian families to care for American Indian children. It is essential for children to stay connected to their family, community, school and culture,” Wieseler added.

Commit to know more about becoming a foster parent by visiting the DSS website at, or by calling 605-343-2598.

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