Contact [email protected] for more information

BROOKINGS, SD – A nearly two-year process culminates April 14 at 10:30 a.m. when the community of Brookings County becomes the first Resilient Community in the state.

The ceremony will take place in the City Council Chambers in the Brookings City and County Government Center at 520 3rd St., Room 310. Former Mayor and current Rep. Tim Reed, R-Brookings, will speak on the importance of the designation to the safety of children and families. Reed is currently president of the Advisory Board for the Center for the Prevention of Child Maltreatment. Brookings County State’s Attorney Dan Nelson will also make remarks during the live-streamed event.

Led by Social NET Works, a coalition of local stakeholders with representatives from healthcare, behavioral health, government, nonprofits and education met monthly to analyze  Brookings County’s current strengths that help children and families deal with and recover from traumatic experiences, thereby aiming to mitigate long-lasting effects, referred to as Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). The coalition identified gaps that could be filled through a multidisciplinary approach to resource delivery.

South Dakota children are facing child abuse and maltreatment at an alarming rate. Research shows that ACEs have a direct impact on an individual’s nervous system and brain development, which creates long-term mental and physical health issues as well as an increase in at-risk behavior. The good news is maltreatment is preventable. Understanding the impact of ACEs and factors that prevent and mitigate those effects can lessen the long-term harm the abuse causes. ACEs include 10 different forms of childhood maltreatment (household dysfunction, abuse and neglect) that have been researched since 1992.

“Resilient Communities allowed Brookings County advocates to work together to overcome gaps in services to provide informed primary prevention strategies to our service leaders,” said Carrie Sanderson, Director of the Center for the Prevention of Child Maltreatment. “Your community is stronger because of the work you’ve done to create unity.”

The Resilient Communities: South Dakota framework was created by the Center for the Prevention of Child Maltreatment and its partner organizations to help address factors in communities that put children at risk for abuse and neglect. It also creates an environment that is trauma-informed, so community members understand the lifetime effects of experiencing childhood adversity. The process also identifies existing resources in the community that can be used to strengthen multi-sector collaborations and prevention efforts.

As part of the Resilient Communities sustainability plan, individuals, organizations and businesses have been invited to take the Brookings County Resiliency Motivator pledge. Those who take the pledge by April 1 will also be recognized at the April 14 event. For more information about Social NET Works, the Brookings County Resiliency Motivator pledge, or the April 14 event, please email [email protected]

About the Center for the Prevention of Child Maltreatment

The Center for the Prevention of Child Maltreatment (CPCM), www.sdcpcm.com, is the first organization to join local, tribal, state and federal efforts in the fight against child sexual abuse and other forms of maltreatment in South Dakota. CPCM was born out of the work of Jolene’s Law Task Force, established through SDCL 2-6-31 and its comprehensive 10-year plan to help South Dakotans know of, respond to and prevent child sexual abuse. The center’s director is Carrie Sanderson.

ABOUT THE SCHOOL OF HEALTH SCIENCES

USD’s School of Health Sciences is a national leader in interprofessional health sciences education. South Dakota’s comprehensive School of Health Sciences develops scholars, practitioners and leaders in health and human services, including addiction counselors, dental hygienists, health science practitioners, medical laboratory scientists, nurses, occupational therapists, physical therapists, physician assistants, public health practitioners and social workers.

ABOUT USD

Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 202 undergraduate and 78 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, Knudson School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.