Community involvement important for child abuse prevention

Community involvement important for child abuse prevention The South Dakota Department of Social Services (DSS) is working to educate people and their communities about child abuse and neglect and how to prevent it during April, which is National Child Abuse Prevention Month.

"Child abuse prevention and caring for children can only be accomplished through the involvement of the entire community," said DSS Secretary Deborah K. Bowman. "DSS is working to involve communities across�South Dakota�in supporting programs that foster prevention of child abuse and neglect."�

DSS recently distributed 900 Child Abuse Prevention Kits to schools, child protection teams, parenting partners, Head Start centers and infant/toddler trainers. The packets contain community and parent education materials to be used throughout the year, activities designed specifically for Child Abuse Prevention Month, and suggestions for developing public awareness campaigns.

In addition, DSS distributed 3,000 blue awareness wristbands containing the words "Keep Kids Safe."�

"Safe children and healthy families are a shared goal," Bowman said. "We want to thank all of the agencies, organizations and individuals, both in the public and private sectors, who work daily to make sure that�South Dakota's children are loved, cared for, nurtured and secure."�

To report child abuse or neglect, contact your nearest Department of Social Services office. To make a report after hours, contact your local law enforcement agency. Additional information about child abuse and neglect can be found online at www.state.sd.us/social/cps.�

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