Child Protective Services

Protective Services

Frequenty Asked Questions

What services are available to help protect children in South Dakota?

Anyone who has reasonable cause to suspect a person under age 18 has been abused or neglected may make a report. The report is made to the Department of Social Services' Division of Child Protection Services, law enforcement agency or the state’s attorney. The Division of Child Protection Services and law enforcement agencies are required by law to investigate reports of child abuse or neglect. Any person who knows or suspects a child has been physically or emotionally injured, neglected or sexually abused should report it immediately.

Protective services is a series of services to children in need of protection. It includes intake and screening of referrals of child abuse and neglect involving families who have a caretaking responsibility for children. Referrals are assigned for an initial family assessment.

Support and home-based services are also available to families in which children are at risk of abuse or neglect. Support services include training for families in parenting skills and home management. These services also provide referrals for counseling and other assistance.

Intensive family services are a cooperative effort among the Departments of Corrections, Human Services, Labor and the Division of Child Protection Services. Intensive in home services are provided to families of youth who have been placed in correctional residential facilities. In home services are provided in an attempt to stabilize and/or enhance family functioning so the youth’s eventual reintegration into the home is more likely to be successful.

What are the signs of child abuse and neglect?

Child abuse and neglect occurs when a child is mistreated, resulting in injury or risk of harm. Abuse can be physical, verbal, emotional or sexual. Learn More.

How do I make a report of child abuse and/or neglect?

You can make a report of abuse and neglect by contacting any local Child Protection Services' office. To make a report after hours, please contact your local law enforcement agency.