Child Protection Program – Debra Divine, Program Manager
Last updated 3/8/2021 at 11:29pm
Program Name: Child Protection Program – Debra Divine, Program Manager
Function/Mission Statement (what you do as a program to provide services to the community):
The purpose of the SWO Child Protection Program is to provide a tribally administered social services
delivery system. Standards of child placement practices are in accordance with the standards of the
State of South Dakota and the Child Welfare League of America.
The Child Protection Program offers six (6) categories of services. The following services are available
through the program: child protection services, (abuse, neglect and exploitation), child placement
services (foster care), adoptive services, licensing activities for adoption and foster care, parenting
classes, and preventative services to families identified as “at risk”.
The goal of the Child Protection Program is to re-enforce and strengthen family values and stress
management in those families experiencing dysfunction. By providing the identified services, we help
such families cope successfully with stress so they are able to provide a nurturing home environment for
their children. Program success is not measured by those children who are able to adjust well to out-of home placements but by the number of parents who are able to successfully undertake the responsibility
of parenthood. In this undertaking, we rely on the strengths of each other, of the extended family and of
the tribe as a community concerned about our future.
Data for the month (this data should show how your services contributed to the community you
serve) as follows:
The SWO Child Protection Program has legal custody of 95 children. Following is the breakdown on
type of placements:
Foster Care: 39
Group Care: 12
Boarding School 04
With Parents 09
With Relatives 31
For the month, two children was returned to the legal custody of their parent(s)/caretaker.
For the month, the Child Protection Program received 43 referrals. These numbers reflect up to
02/27/2020. Following is the breakdown:
Physical Abuse/Drugs 02
Physical Abuse 03
Sexual Abuse 08
Infant positive for meth 01
Clothing Orders 03
Financial Assistance 07
Youth Behavior 01
Domestic Violence 01
For the month the SWO Child Protection Program received 230 ICWA notices. Sixteen (16) of these
were SWO members and ICWA eligible.
For the month we had one person apply for foster care licensure.
The SWO Child Protection Program has an on-going need of recruiting and retaining foster parents, this
has been a continuous challenge for not only the tribes but a statewide need. The SWO Child Protection
Program along with the State of South Dakota continue its efforts in recruiting Native American foster
families for those children who cannot remain in their homes due to safety risks.
The SWO Child Protection Program is in need of funding for additional staff. This would allow the
client/caseworker ratio to decrease allowing for more effective case management. Our request to
council has been denied, we laid off one employee effective 10/01/19. We will go through the Bureau
of Indian Affairs and request additional administrative funding.