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Press Releases

DSS News provides media and the public with current news and events happening within the Department of Social Services. If you need background or further information on any article, please contact Communications Administrator, Max Wetz, at 605.773.3609.

For a list of past news release, please visit South Dakota State News.

2021

Nov 29, 2021
More adoptive families needed for older children, siblings, and children with special needs
More adoptive families are needed for older children, sibling groups, and children who require specialized parenting for medical, developmental or emotional needs throughout South Dakota.

Nov 15, 2021
Resources available to help survivors of suicide loss
Finding support from others and exercising self-care is important for survivors of suicide loss to cope with the grief and emotions that suicide can bring. South Dakota Suicide Prevention has help and resources available.

Nov 01, 2021
November is Adoption Awareness Month in South Dakota
Governor Kristi Noem has made November Adoption Awareness Month to recognize those who provide loving, stable forever homes to South Dakota children.

Oct 27, 2021
November Mental Health Memo: Holidays and Heartache: Managing Grief during the Holiday Season
With a variety of in-store and online advertisements beginning at the first sign of fall, it is nearly impossible to avoid being bombarded with reminders of the upcoming holidays.

Foster system seeks more families in Native American communities as Stronger Families Together works toward recruitment goal
When children need to be placed with a foster family, staying in their own community helps minimize the trauma. That is why more foster families are needed, especially among tribal members in South Dakota.

Oct 25, 2021
Substance use has dangerous tie to suicide
Substance use is associated with an increased risk for suicide, especially for those struggling with a co-occurring mental health problem or previous suicide attempt. Substance use can lead to increased feelings of depression and worthlessness, acting impulsively and impairing the ability to make good choices.  Starting the conversation, listening, and providing support can be positive steps towards recovery.

Oct 19, 2021
Foster youth, families finding support in public-private partnership
The public-private partnership between the Department of Social Services (DSS) and charitable organizations, businesses, and faith leaders in South Dakota – Stronger Families Together – is benefiting foster and adoptive youth and their families in significant ways.

Oct 18, 2021
Child Support Commission to hold Rapid City meeting, hearing
The final public hearing to gather input on changes to child support guidelines in South Dakota will happen Wednesday, October 27th, in Rapid City.

Oct 14, 2021
Prescription Take-Back Day is Saturday October 23
South Dakotans are encouraged to safely dispose of unwanted prescription drugs during the next Drug Enforcement Administration’s National Prescription Take-Back Day on Saturday, October 23.

Oct 06, 2021
Outcomes brighter when siblings can remain together in care
Siblings have unique bonds which is why keeping brothers and sisters together in foster care and adoption is so important to achieving successful outcomes.

Oct 04, 2021
Mental health support available in South Dakota
As Mental Illness Awareness Week kicks off the Department of Social Services (DSS) wants South Dakotans to know there is help available for those dealing with mental health challenges.

Oct 01, 2021
October Mental Health Memo: Every Month Should be Substance Abuse Prevention Month
For a decade, October has been recognized as National Substance Abuse Prevention Month.

Sep 22, 2021
Materials available to help spread awareness about preventing suicide
During Suicide Prevention Month, the Department of Social Services (DSS) is sharing tools for communities to use in the prevention of suicide. Materials to raise awareness of suicide prevention in your community are available for anyone to order through DSS. Toolkits and campaign materials are also available for diverse populations including Native Americans, LGBTQ, and Veterans.

Sep 20, 2021
Child Support Commission to hold Sioux Falls meeting, hearing
The Commission on Child Support is continuing to conduct its required review of South Dakota’s child support guidelines and will hold the second of three public hearings next week in Sioux Falls.

Sep 16, 2021
South Dakota awarded rural health transformation funds
The Department of Social Services (DSS) has been awarded up to $5 million in federal funding to transform the way health care is delivered in rural communities.

Sep 15, 2021
DSS offers training to help reduce suicide, mental health issues
he South Dakota Department of Social Services (DSS) offers a variety of training opportunities, including virtual courses, designed to help identify, understand, and respond to signs of crisis.

Sep 13, 2021
Family key to providing safety, stability to children
Family connections are critical to healthy child development and a sense of belonging. When children must be removed from their families for safety, kinship care is the preferred placement.

Sep 08, 2021
Additional funding available for child care providers
Additional funding to support child care programs and the families they serve is being made available, according to the Department of Social Services (DSS).

Sep 07, 2021
September is Behavioral Health Recovery Month in South Dakota
Governor Kristi Noem has proclaimed September as Behavioral Health Recovery Month in South Dakota to help spread the message that hope, healing, and happiness are possible.

Sep 02, 2021
Governor Noem proclaims September as Kinship Appreciation and Awareness Month
Governor Kristi Noem has proclaimed September 2021 as Kinship Appreciation and Awareness Month in South Dakota.

Sep 01, 2021
Mental Health Memo: Changing the Conversation Around Suicide
It can be said we’re all one significant event away from a mental health crisis.

September is Suicide Prevention Month in South Dakota
Suicide is a preventable public health problem and Governor Kristi Noem wants anyone who is struggling to find the help and resources they need. That is why she has proclaimed September as Suicide Prevention Month in South Dakota.

Aug 19, 2021
Child Support Commission begins work
The guidelines for child support in South Dakota are undergoing an in-depth review by the Commission on Child Support with meetings planned over the next several months.

Aug 12, 2021
College tuition grant funding available to current, former foster care youth
The Department of Social Services (DSS) has help available for current and former foster care youth to further their education.

Aug 09, 2021
Commission on Child Support to hold public hearings on proposed guideline changes
The Commission on Child Support will conduct public hearings over the next three months to gather input on potential changes to South Dakota’s child support guidelines and related statutes.

Jul 30, 2021
Mental Health Memo: 5 Back-to-School-Tips
“Back to School” season can be full of excitement and new adventures, but, for some, the thought of going back to school can bring overwhelming feelings of anxiety about the unknown.

Jul 15, 2021
Families set to receive food assistance for school children due to COVID-19
The South Dakota Department of Social Services (DSS) in collaboration with the Department of Education (DOE) will be providing assistance with food costs to families who lost access to free or reduced-price school meals during the 2020-2021 school year due to COVID-19 related school closures.

Jul 8, 2021
Funding available to help child care providers
To help ensure child care services remain strong, the Department of Social Services (DSS) is making funding available to support child care programs and the families they serve.

Jul 01, 2021
Young people formerly in foster care may qualify for pandemic relief
Young people between the ages of 18-27 who were previously in foster care may be eligible for COVID-19 financial relief and some can choose to re-enter foster care.

"Mental Health Memo": Making Summer 2021 a summer to remember
This is the first in an ongoing monthly series of columns (Mental Health Memo) to be authored by a variety of mental health professionals at the Human Services Center in Yankton.

Jun 17, 2021
Reunification with birth family main goal of foster care
The main goal of foster care through the Department of Social Services (DSS) is to safely return children to their birth family.

Jun 16, 2021
DSS launches program to help with behavioral health costs
The Department of Social Services (DSS) recently launched the Behavioral Health Voucher Program, offering funding assistance and support for mental health and substance use services.

May 17, 2021
Governor Noem calls for raising mental health awareness
Governor Kristi Noem has proclaimed May as Mental Health Awareness Month in South Dakota.

May 11, 2021
South Dakota kicks off Stronger Families Together
To help address the need for more foster and adoptive families for children in South Dakota, Governor Kristi Noem kicked off an ongoing recruitment initiative today called Stronger Families Together.

May 10, 2021
Tenth Annual National Prevention Week
Governor Kristi Noem has proclaimed May 9-15, 2021, as Prevention Week in South Dakota.

May 07, 2021
Child care providers honored for service.
Child care providers in South Dakota are being honored by the Department of Social Services (DSS) for the work they do to help support families.

May 03, 2021
Governor Noem honors South Dakota Foster Parents
Governor Kristi Noem has proclaimed May as Foster Parent Appreciation Month in South Dakota to thank foster families for all they do for children in need.

Apr 27, 2021
MEDIA ADVISORY: Stronger Families Together campaign to kick off May 11
The Department of Social Services in partnership with South Dakota Kids Belong will host a kick-off event for the Stronger Families Together campaign to support children and families in South Dakota.

Apr 21, 2021
Prescription Drug Take Back Day is Saturday April 24
South Dakotans are encouraged to dispose of unwanted prescription drugs as part of the next DEA National Prescription Take Back Day on Saturday, April 24.

Apr 15, 2021
USD, DSS partner to train school personnel in crisis prevention and response
To help ensure children are psychologically and physically safe before, during and after unexpected negative events, the University of South Dakota (USD) and Department of Social Services (DSS) are working together to train South Dakota school personnel.

Apr 14, 2021
Community key to supporting families, ending child abuse and neglect
South Dakota communities play a key role in supporting families and ultimately in ending child abuse and neglect.

Apr 01, 2021
Governor Noem calls for end to child abuse, neglect
Governor Kristi Noem has proclaimed April as Child Abuse Prevention Month to help bring an end to abuse and neglect in South Dakota. The Department of Social Services (DSS) is asking everyone to be vigilant in watching for signs of a problem.

Mar 24, 2021
DSS helps ensure families have correct child safety seats
The South Dakota Department of Social Services (DSS) is helping ensure children ride in the best child safety seat for their height and weight when parents can’t afford to buy one.

Feb 24, 2021
DSS secures planning grant for 988 Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Planning for the launch of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s 988 dialing code will get a boost from a grant awarded to the South Dakota Department of Social Services.

Feb 22, 2021
DSS helps South Dakota families stay warm

The bitter cold stretch that recently gripped South Dakota required families to use more energy to stay warm.

Feb 12, 2021
DSS has tips and resources for lonely hearts on Valentine’s Day
While Valentine’s Day is a time for celebrating love, for many people who have lost a relationship, a loved one, or who are simply feeling down, it can be a difficult time. The South Dakota Department of Social Services (DSS) has resources to help cope with the challenges.

Feb 09, 2021
Substance abuse recovery program for mothers launched in South Dakota
A new program to help expectant mothers struggling with substance use disorders has officially launched in South Dakota, and the agencies involved hope to see significant positive results.

Jan 11, 2021
ALDI to join list of online options for SNAP recipients
On Tuesday, January 12, ALDI grocery stores will join the list of online grocery shopping options for recipients of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in South Dakota.

2020

Dec 15, 2020
DSS provides help for the holiday blues
The holiday season can be full of joy, brightness, and happiness, but for many people it can also be a stressful, sad, or lonely time.

Nov 10, 2020
DSS finds loving adoptive homes for children in foster care
Today, there are 81 children in South Dakota’s foster care system who are legally available for adoption. The greatest need is for older children, sibling groups, and children with emotional, behavioral, or medical needs.

Nov 02, 2020
November is ‘Adoption Awareness Month’ in South Dakota
Governor Kristi Noem has proclaimed November “Adoption Awareness Month” in South Dakota because all children in our state deserve to grow up in a strong family where they are loved and protected.

Oct 22, 2020
Prescription Take-Back Day Oct. 24
South Dakotans are encouraged to dispose of unwanted prescription drugs as part of Prescription Take-Back Day on Saturday, Oct. 24.

Oct 20, 2020
DSS helping to keep families, communities safe
Keeping South Dakota families safe is the goal of new services being provided by the Department of Social Services (DSS).

Sep 28, 2020
DSS issuing additional support to child care programs
Child care providers in South Dakota are set to receive a second financial boost from the Department of Social Services (DSS) in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sep 23, 2020
Human Services Center aims for zero suicides
The goal is zero. South Dakota’s only state run inpatient psychiatric facility, the South Dakota Human Services Center, is using “Zero Suicide” practices to help save lives.

Sep 08, 2020
DSS awarded $1.2 million to help prevent adult suicide
More than 68,000 South Dakotans are expected to be helped over the next three years in the fight against adult suicide, thanks to a $1.2 million federal grant recently awarded to South Dakota’s Department of Social Services (DSS). The money is intended to help prevent suicide in the 25 and older age group.

Sep 03, 2020
September is ‘Suicide Prevention Month’ and ‘Recovery Month’ in South Dakota
Governor Kristi Noem has proclaimed September both Suicide Prevention Month and Recovery Month in South Dakota.

Sep 02, 2020
DSS looks to ‘change minds’ on youth suicide
“Change my mind” is the main message behind the youth suicide prevention campaign recently kicked off through BeThe1SD, a joint effort between the South Dakota Department of Social Services (DSS) and Department of Health (DOH).

Aug 19, 2020
DSS provides support to child care programs
The Department of Social Services (DSS) has awarded more than $3 million to child care providers so far in response to the COVID-19 pandemic as part of ongoing efforts to support South Dakota families.

Jul 30, 2020
DSS’ 605 Strong program off to solid start
More than 1,875 South Dakotans have found COVID-19 support and resources since the launch of the 605 Strong program, the South Dakota Department of Social Services (DSS) announced today.

Child Support Commission allowed extra time for review
The Department of Social Services (DSS) will convene the Commission on Child Support in 2021 to review child support guidelines.

Jun 26, 2020
DSS launches crisis counseling, outreach program
The Department of Social Services (DSS) launched 605 Strong, a new crisis counseling program, dedicated to helping people struggling with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jun 22, 2020
Families set to receive food assistance due to COVID-19
The South Dakota Department of Social Services (DSS) in collaboration with the Department of Education will be providing additional assistance with food costs to families who lost access to free or reduced-price school meals in response to COVID-19 related school closures.

Jun 09, 2020
Increased SNAP benefits to continue
Increased Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits will continue for some South Dakota families to help address food costs during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Social Services (DSS) announced today.

May 27, 2020
South Dakota seeking to join online SNAP pilot
South Dakotans enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) may have the option of buying groceries online in the future, the Department of Social Services announced today.

May 21, 2020
Governor recognizes service of foster families
Foster families play an important role in caring for children in communities across South Dakota and Governor Kristi Noem has proclaimed May as Foster Parent Appreciation and Awareness Month to recognize their selfless dedication.

May 19, 2020
Funding available to DSS-regulated child care programs
The Department of Social Services (DSS) will use newly received federal funding to help support child care programs and the families they serve. The funding will help with the challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic..

Apr 27, 2020
DSS: Child support payments can be made online
The Department of Social Services (DSS) is encouraging parents to go online to deal with child support obligations as staff is working remotely or behind closed doors in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Apr 21, 2020
DSS secures funding for COVID-19 mental health and substance use needs
The Department of Social Services (DSS) will receive $2 million from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to assist South Dakotans dealing with mental health issues and substance use disorders due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Apr 17, 2020
SNAP benefits could go up for some
South Dakotans who receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits could receive extra help to purchase food, the Department of Social Services announced today.

Apr 14, 2020
DSS offers help to families in need
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought uncertainty to individuals and families across South Dakota including financial hardships and the Department of Social Services (DSS) reminds the public it has programs to help.

Apr 06, 2020
DSS stresses need to seek help in crisis situations
During this period of uncertainty and stress, the Department of Social Services urges people to seek help when they need it.

Mar 23, 2020
DSS encourages use of online, remote resources during COVID-19 situation
The South Dakota Department of Social Services (DSS) is asking the public to make use of its online resources instead of going out and risking exposure to COVID-19.

Mar 19, 2020
Helping children deal with COVID-19
With school cancelled for two weeks in South Dakota and other social distancing techniques being strongly recommended for the foreseeable future, children might feel anxious, isolated and depressed. The Department of Social Services (DSS) has resources available to help kids and adults alike deal with the stress of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mar 15, 2020
COVID-19 guidance to childcare facilities
PIERRE – The Department of Social Services (DSS) is asking childcare providers in South Dakota to take steps to ensure that the health and safety of children, families, and providers remain top priorities in the days and weeks ahead.

2019

Dec 06, 2019
Middle Schools to Receive Meth-Focused Prevention Programming
The South Dakota Department of Social Services (DSS) today announced that 9 prevention providers statewide will receive funds to support over 40 South Dakota middle schools to provide evidence-based substance use prevention programming, with emphasis on methamphetamine prevention.

Nov 18, 2019
Meth Prevention and Awareness Campaign Launches in South Dakota
There is a meth problem in South Dakota, and we need everyone on it.

Sep 10, 2019
Department of Social Services announces new hospital administrator at the Human Services Center
The Department of Social Services (DSS) has named Jeremy Johnson as the Human Services Center (HSC) hospital administrator.

Feb 28, 2019
Funding Available to Support Training and Education Events for Professionals Around Opioid Abuse/Misuse in South Dakota
The Department of Social Services (DSS) will be providing funding to support education or training to professionals in combating the opioid epidemic.

Jan 11, 2019
February Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Benefits to be Issued Early in Response to Federal Government Shutdown
Due to the current federal government shutdown, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) has required states to issue February Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits early in order to minimize the potential impact of the lapse in appropriations on SNAP recipients.