Department of Social Services

There’s a real need across the state for more families to adopt and foster children.

The demand is most acute in west river counties. A smaller population base means fewer potential homes for kids in need. And that can mean a child travels miles away from what’s familiar for a new temporary home.

Right now there are more than 950 kids in the state’s foster care system and 70 children who are available for adoption.

Governor Kristi Noem designated November as adoption awareness month.

Suicide Prevention

Sep 10, 2019

In the Moment ... September 10, 2019 Show 655 Hour 2

Research shows that the suicide rate in the ag industry is five times higher than the national average. Among the reasons: worries about income, social isolation, and the ever-present stigma related to seeking mental health services. 

News: Aug 10 - 16

Aug 16, 2019

In this weeks news, SDPB’s Lee Strubinger reports on Hand County potentially seeing another animal feedlot operation that may complicate things there. Tuesday marked the last day of the nest predator bounty program, and we’ll hear reactions from SDPB's Michael Zimny. Political Junkies talk the state’s top political headlines. Lori talks with Laurie Gill, Secretary of the South Dakota Department of Social Services. Could gratitude decrease stress? And, The National Farmers Organization says the country's farmers deserve better when it comes to the 2020 proposed Renewable Fuel Standards.

Secretary Laurie Gill

Aug 14, 2019

In The Moment ... August 14, 2019 Show 637 Hour 2

Child care, economic assistance programs, and medicaid are just a few examples of what the South Dakota Department of Social Services focuses on. But what programs consume the most dollars? What are the main reasons people find themselves in need of assistance? And what programs could use more help?


Laurie Gill is the Secretary of the South Dakota Department of Social Services and joined us today to answer these questions are more. 

South Dakota Breaks Record for Suicide Deaths in 2017

Jul 24, 2018
South Dakota Department of Health

In 2017, South Dakota saw the highest number of suicides in state history. This is the second time the state has broken its own suicide record in less than five years.

The state Department of Health reports 192 South Dakotans died by suicide in 2017. State epidemiologist Dr. Josh Clayton says the last time the state broke this record was in 2015 with 173 suicide deaths.

“In 2017 we did see about 80% of the suicides from male individuals," he says. "The highest rate of suicides did come among the population of 20 to 24 year-olds.”

courtesy photo

A federal judge has ordered Seventh Circuit and Pennington County officials to stop violating the Indian Child Welfare Act.

Judge Jeffrey Viken's order affects emergency hearings held within 48 hours of the removal of children from their parent or guardian's care.

The judge's order responds to a lawsuit filed in Rapid City in March 2013 and resolves seven of eight issues. SDPB's Victoria Wicks reports on this latest development.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

State officials from three agencies say South Dakota faces challenges when it comes to nursing home and assisted living care. On July 12 the Regulation of Nursing Homes and Assisted Living Beds Interim Committee met in Pierre.   Members discussed plans to address challenges like infrastructure improvement, staff shortages, and budget constraints.

The Regulation of Nursing Homes and Assisted Living Beds Interim Committee met July 12 in Pierre.

Bill To Stop Medicaid Expansion Fails

Feb 4, 2013

By Victoria Wicks

A proposal to stop Medicaid eligibility from expanding was killed Monday in the House State Affairs Committee.

Representative Hal Wick introduced House Bill 1244 to prevent Medicaid expansion under the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Under that act, all U.S. citizens must have health insurance starting next year.

Wick says the cost of increasing the number of people receiving Medicaid is significant. He says this year the state will spend more than $800 million on Medicaid.