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Reporting Child Abuse

What to do?

  1. Remain calm.
  2. Believe the child.
  3. Allow the child to talk.
  4. Show interest and concern.
  5. Reassure and support the child.
  6. Take action. It could help save a child’s life.


What not to do?

  1. Panic or overreact.
  2. Press the child to talk.
  3. Promise anything you can’t control.
  4. Confront the offender.
  5. Blame or minimize the child’s feelings.
  6. Overwhelm the child with questions.


To find your local South Dakota DSS office, click Department of Social Services.

You can also contact South Dakota statewide Child Protective Services at 1-877-244-0864.

If after hours or on the weekend or if this an emergency call 911.

Even if you only suspect that something has happened, report the concern and allow professionals to look into the matter.  

Some people don’t think it will do any good to report suspected abuse, are afraid to make reports, tend to minimize suspicions. It is important to know that sometimes small suspicions may be a sign of more serious issues. It is also important to make sure there is a record of the suspected abuse and the actions that are taken to keep children safe. Your role is not to question the child but instead allow the professionals to investigate the situation.

You are able to make reports anonymously.

Please note that while calls to 911 are not anonymous, you can anonymously contact Child Protective Services (CPS) or Crimestoppers.

Anonymous reporting is not the preferred method.  The person reporting is often an important resource for child protection services or law enforcement to determine the immediate safety needs of a child.  But if the choice is not reporting at all, or reporting anonymously – reporting is always best.


   Other Numbers

The Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline is staffed and available at time, with professional crisis counselors who have access to 55,000 emergency, social service, and support resources. All calls to this number are anonymous. You can contact them at 1.800.4.A.CHILD (1.800.422.4453).

Crime Stoppers National number:  1-800-222-TIPS

In South Dakota:

Brookings Area Crime Stoppers, Inc:  605-692-7867

Mitchell Area Crime Stoppers, Inc:  605-996-1700

Sioux Empire Crime Stoppers (Sioux Falls):  605-367-7007

Winner Area Crime Stoppers:  605-842-3939

Learn about Senate Bill 70 and its impacts on Mandatory Reporting here.

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.

Contact Us

(605) 951-5174

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What can you do?

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.