Lynne A. Valenti
Cabinet Secretary

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April 4, 2017

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month

PIERRE, S.D. – April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. This month, the South Dakota Department of Social Services (DSS) is observing the designation by encouraging individuals and organizations to play a role in making South Dakota a better place for children and families.

“Research shows that protective factors are present in healthy families,” said Department of Social Services Secretary Lynne Valenti “Protective factors are skills and resources families can use to meet and deal with the challenges and stresses of being a parent.”

The department encourages South Dakotans to consider the following protective factors within their families.

  • Nurturing and attachment – Small acts of kindness, protection and caring make a big difference to children. Research shows a consistent relationship with parents is associated with better grades, healthier behaviors and the ability to cope with stress.
  • Knowledge of parenting and of child and youth development – Parents who understand the usual course of child development are more likely to be able to provide children with skills needed to live independently.
  • Concrete supports for parents – Identifying resources in the community and offering a helping hand to parents may help prevent stress which can lead to child maltreatment.
  • Additional protective factors and information can be found by visiting


“April is a time to celebrate the important role communities play in strengthening families and protecting children,” said Valenti. Everyone’s participation is critical.”

Individuals can also participate in prevention efforts by knowing the signs of child abuse and neglect, reporting suspected abuse and neglect and by wearing a blue ribbon.

The Department of Social Services’ Division of Child Protection Services has 20 offices across South Dakota. In addition to receiving and assessing reports of child abuse and/or neglect, the division connects parents with needed resources to help increase their ability to keep their children safe.  If you have reason to believe a child is being abused or neglected, report it by calling 1-877-244-0864, or contacting your local law enforcement. For more information, please visit

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