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Funding secured for Watertown MDT Pilot Project

In late June, the Chapter heard word from the South Dakota Department of Social Services that it had successfully received funding to support the Watertown MDT Pilot Project. The grant awards the Chapter dollars for the development of the regional MDT model, a broad approach that uses outreach efforts to serve communities in South Dakota left underserved. The Watertown Pilot Project – the first of this regional model to be tested – utilizes outreach from Child’s Voice in Sioux Falls as well as multi-disciplinary contacts in Watertown.

This VOCA grant and Watertown MDT Pilot Project come in response to the work of Jolene’s Law Task Force (JLTF), which the past CACSD Chapter Coordinator, Casey Murschel, as well as several Center directors and partners played a significant role in moving forward. From 2014-2016, the task force investigated the prevalence and impact of child abuse in the state, eventually outlining six major goals and 48 supporting objectives that work towards ending child abuse in South Dakota. In a message from Senator Deb Soholt, the Chair of JLTF, she states, “although the focus of this plan is child sexual abuse, the objectives will increase our capacity to address all forms of child maltreatment.” The final report of JLTF can be found here.

At the national level, VOCA has received considerable attention as of late in the House CJS Appropriations Committee, where current draft legislation would increase funding to $4.632 billion for FY18, a significant increase over previous years. If passed, this could mean increased access to funding for a large number of chapter and centers across the nation. For South Dakota, this could mean more sustainably funding for future projects like that currently taking place in Watertown.

The Child Advocacy Centers of South Dakota

CACSD is a network of Child Advocacy Centers (CACs) dedicated to helping local communities respond to allegations of child abuse in ways that are effective and efficient – and put the needs of child victims first.

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Reporting abuse or neglect can protect a child and get help for a family – it may even save a child’s life. Learn more about reporting child abuse here.