Child Abuse Prevention Platform

Prevent Child Abuse in South Dakota


What is child abuse and neglect in South Dakota?

Under South Dakota law, the term “abused and neglected child” means a child:

  • Whose parent, guardian or custodian has abandoned the child or has subjected the child to mistreatment or abuse;
  • Who lacks proper parental care through the actions or omissions of the parent, guardian or custodian;
  • Whose environment is injurious to his welfare;
  • Whose parent, guardian or custodian fails or refuses to provide proper or necessary subsistence, supervision, education, medical care or any other care necessary for his health, guidance, or well-being; or
  • Who is homeless, without proper care, or not domiciled with his parent, guardian or custodian through no fault of his parent, guardian or custodian;
  • Who is threatened with substantial harm;
  • Who has sustained emotional harm or mental injury as indicated by an injury to his intellectual or psychological capacity evidenced by an observable and substantial impairment in his ability to function within his normal range of performance and behavior, with due regard to his culture;
  • Who is subject to sexual abuse, sexual molestation or sexual exploitation by his parent, guardian, custodian or any other person responsible for his care;
  • Who was subject to prenatal exposure to abusive use of alcohol, marijuana or any controlled drug or substance not lawfully prescribed by a practitioner as authorized by chapters 22-42 and 3420B;
  • Whose parent, guardian or custodian knowingly exposes the child to an environment that is being used for the manufacture, use or distribution of methamphetamine or any other unlawfully manufactured controlled drug or substance.

stop child abuse

According to the Child Welfare League of America, there were 1,339 victims of abuse or neglect in South Dakota in 2017, a rate of 6.2 per 1,000 children. Of these children, 89.8% were neglected, 11.8% were physically abused, and 4.4% were sexually abused.

Who is a mandated reporter according to SD state requirements?

Any person may make a report, however, South Dakota State law requires the following persons, also referred to as mandatory reporters, to report suspected child abuse and neglect as defined in SDCL 26-8A-3:

  • Chemical Dependency Counselor
  • Child Advocacy Organization Employees or Volunteer
  • Chiropractor
  • Coroners
  • CPS Staff
  • Dentist
  • Doctor of Osteopathy
  • Domestic Abuse Shelter Employees or Volunteers
  • EMT
  • Hospital Intern or Resident
  • Hospital Personnel
  • Law Enforcement Officers
  • Licensed or Registered Child Welfare Provider
  • Mental Health Professionals or Counselor
  • Nurse
  • Optometrist
  • Parole or Court Services Officers
  • Physician
  • Podiatrist
  • Psychologist
  • Religious Healing Practitioner
  • School Counselor
  • School Official
  • School Personnel
  • Social Worker
  • Teacher
  • Any Safety-Sensitive Position (SDCL 3-6C-1)

Failure by a mandatory reporter to report child abuse or neglect is a misdemeanor.

How do I report child abuse in South Dakota?report child abuse

To report child abuse or neglect, please call (877) 244-0864. Intake Specialists will be available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. If reporting an emergency situation before 8 a.m., after 5 p.m., on the weekends, or during a holiday, please contact your local law enforcement.

How do I get free online child abuse training for my organization?

Use the code STAYSAFE to enroll in Creating Safe Environments for Organizations, a free online training class. Leaders in organizations use this free online course to explore child abuse prevention best practices and help prevent child abuse in South Dakota.

How do I get online child abuse training for myself?

Explore 100% online training courses


contact informationHow do I contact the SD Department of Social Services?

Contact the South Dakota Department of Social Services
DSS Local Offices
(605) 773-3227


Disclaimer: Please ensure the information and courses meet requirements for your organization and circumstances and align with what your state Department of Social Services requires. The state requirements and child abuse and human trafficking statistics listed on this page are current as of May 13th, 2021 to meet the best information available. State requirements may change and it is your responsibility  to know your state mandated reporter requirements and the process for online child abuse prevention training. Compass Child Protection Training can not guarantee acceptance by your school, organization, or state Department of Social Services. If there is a child abuse emergency, call 911 immediately.

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