Minnehaha County, South Dakota
The Minnehaha County State's Attorney's Office represents the Department of Social Services in cases
where abuse and/or neglect is suspected. Anyone who feels a child has been abused or neglected may report their observations to law enforcement (605) 367-7000, the State's Attorney's office (605) 367-4226 or the Department of Social Services (605) 367-5444.
The office has attorneys whose special emphasis is prosecuting cases in court where termination of parental rights is being contemplated. Most of the cases in the office arise out of emergency placement of children. If a petition is filed, the Department of Social Services is obligated in most cases to attempt to unite the children with the parents.
We also work closely with the Indian tribes in cases where the Indian Child Welfare Act is applicable. Our numbers are continuing to escalate because our community is growing and because people are more willing to make reports on children who they feel have been abuse/neglected.
South Dakota law requires certain professionals to report suspected child abuse or neglect. It permits others, who are not mandated, to report. SDCL 26-8A-3. Mandated reporters are to report orally and immediately to the State's Attorney, Department of Social Services or law enforcement. SDCL 26-8A-8. The minimal standard for a report to be made is a reasonable cause to suspect that abuse or neglect has occurred or is occurring.