News...
April 11, 2011

Governor Daugaard Declares April
as Child Abuse Prevention Month

PIERRE, S.D. – Gov. Dennis Daugaard 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.

“South Dakota is committed to helping future generations succeed,” Gov. Daugaard said in an Executive Proclamation. “We are focused on ensuring the safety and well-being of all families, improving the lives of young children and creating opportunities.”

The Governor said all children in South Dakota have the right to live quality lives that are free from abuse and neglect.

“The effects of child abuse and neglect are felt by whole communities and need to be addressed by creating quality partnerships among social service agencies, schools, religious and civic organizations, law enforcement agencies, parents and caregivers,” Gov. Daugaard added.

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 be a part of the prevention process 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 www.dss.sd.gov/cps/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 young children. For more information on this program, visit www.dss.sd.gov/cps/parentingprogram.
  • 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. Volunteer your time to local community programs that provide support for families, such as after-school programs, athletic or church activities.
  • Reporting suspected child abuse and neglect. If you have reason to believe a child has been harmed or may be in danger, report it by contacting your local Department of Social Services office or local law enforcement agency.
  • Wearing a blue ribbon. Throughout the month of April, citizens are asked to wear a blue ribbon or tie one to their vehicle antennas to spread the message of child abuse prevention.

The Department of Social Services’ Division of Child Protection Services is located in 20 offices throughout the state and serves every county. In addition to receiving and assessing reports of child abuse and/or neglect, the division connects parents with the needed resources to help increase their ability to keep children safe. For more information, please visit http://dss.sd.gov/cps/.

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