Department of Social Services

Sen. Tim Reed, R-Brookings, on the state Senate floor during the 2024 legislative session. (Makenzie Huber/South Dakota Searchlight)

Effort to study child care costs in SD receives unanimous committee support

BY: - January 31, 2024

One of the first pieces in the long-term effort to address South Dakota’s child care needs cleared its first hurdle Wednesday at the Capitol in Pierre. A bill that would require the state to study the cost of child care across South Dakota was unanimously approved by the Senate State Affairs Committee and will head […]

Attendees at the 2023 South Dakota Suicide Prevention Conference take video of an inspirational message for those in need, at the direction of keynote speaker Kevin Hines. (John Hult/South Dakota Searchlight)

‘I want to speak life into people’: State takes all-in approach to suicide prevention

BY: - August 11, 2023

SIOUX FALLS — Roslyn Ward lost her 35-year-old son to suicide last October. The loss turned the Lemmon mother into an advocate for suicide prevention, and she founded an organization called “Hope … Your Life Matters.”  Ward was on hand Friday in Sioux Falls for the South Dakota Suicide Prevention Conference to gather ideas, inspiration […]

Colleen Hannum, an epidemiologist with the state Department of Social Services, presents findings to the state Behavioral Health Advisory Council at the Human Services Center in Yankton on Aug. 9, 2023. (Joshua Haiar/South Dakota Searchlight)

High schoolers suffer rising mental health challenges, report shows

BY: - August 9, 2023

YANKTON — South Dakota high school students are suffering increased mental health problems, according to a presentation heard Wednesday by the state’s Behavioral Health Advisory Council at the Human Services Center.  Colleen Hannum, an epidemiologist with the state Department of Social Services, presented numerous data points to the board as part of an update. The […]

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Statewide high school course trains students to become child care workers

BY: - July 7, 2023

There are 12,260 licensed child care slots in Sioux Falls, but 64% of child care centers can’t enroll their licensed capacity because they don’t have enough workers, according to the Sioux Falls Childcare Collaborative. That cuts actual available slots by hundreds — and it’s a familiar situation across the state. The collaborative presented the results […]

Matt Althoff, secretary of the state Department of Social Services, speaks to the Legislature's Interim Appropriations Committee on May 3, 2023, at the Capitol in Pierre. (Committee livestream screenshot/SDPB)

Grants could add 2,400 openings at child care centers

BY: - May 3, 2023

Money from the federal government could soon help add about 2,400 openings for kids at new and expanding child care centers in South Dakota. The money comes from the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act, which Congress passed and President Joe Biden signed into law in 2021. The legislation was a response to the economic […]

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‘Workforce behind the workforce’: Businesses, organizations tackle child care in new program

BY: - November 14, 2022

The child care crisis is, above all else, a workforce crisis in South Dakota. Gov. Kristi Noem addressed it as such on the campaign trail, and Sioux Falls Mayor Paul Tenhaken says its one of the most common issues presented to him in recent years.  But it hasn’t been treated as a “crisis” by businesses […]