It is a tragedy that likely goes unnoticed by many of us, yet the numbers associated with child abuse and maltreatment are startling. The most recent statistics show that in 2017, South Dakota had nearly 16,000 referrals for child abuse and neglect and investigations were started in nearly 2500 of those referral cases.
Carrie Sanderson is the Director of the Center for Prevention of Child Maltreatment at the University of South Dakota. She also knows that the numbers you just heard don’t reflect the full magnitude of this problem. It’s an organization established to ensure that the issue does not continue to go unnoticed and that the growing numbers of child abuse and maltreatment are erased altogether.
Child maltreatment is preventable and one of the ways to do that is to report suspected abuse and neglect. While some professions in South Dakota are mandated by law to do so, anyone can report suspected cases. If you are concerned about a child’s safety, please call 1-877-244-0864. A Department of Social Services Intake Specialist will be available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. If you are making a report outside those hours, on a weekend or during a holiday, please call local law enforcement. Anyone in South Dakota can report suspected child abuse & neglect. Always call 911 if a child is in immediate danger.
Whether they’re training mandatory reporters, helping victims and their families navigate the criminal justice system or providing data analysis assistance to state agencies, the Center for the Prevention of Child Maltreatment is committed to stopping the cycle of child abuse in South Dakota. You can find out more about training and volunteer opportunities by contact them by phone at 605-357-1392 or online as SDCPCM.com. KELOLAND Media Group is proud to welcome the Center for Prevention of Child Maltreatment to the 2021 Avera Traditional of Caring grant recipients.