Save the Date, become a presenter at 22nd Annual CRCAC
Mark you calendars for the 22nd Annual Community Response to Child Abuse Conference scheduled October 6 and 7, 2022.
You only have a few days to apply to present a session. Go here today: Annual Community Response to Child Abuse Conference – Center for the Prevention of Childhood Maltreatment (sdcpcm.com)
Virgena Wieseler honored for board service
Virgena Wieseler, Division Director of Child Protection Services for the Department of Social Services, was honored for her service to the Center for the Prevention of Child Maltreatment Advisory Board during CPCM’s board meeting on April 21 in Pierre. Wieseler will retire from DSS this year.
CPCM Advisory Board Chair, Representative Tim Reed of Brookings, presented Wieseler with a plaque commemorating her service.
On behalf of CPCM and its advisory board, we want to congratulate Virgena on her retirement and wish her the best of luck in her future endeavors.
Inaugural Child Abuse Prevention Breakfast highlights CPCM work, impact of ACEs protective factors
The April 1 Child Abuse Prevention Breakfast was an amazing success! Keynote speaker Nikki Eining gave an inspiring keynote on her life experiences growing up with adversity. Positive connections with devoted adults and her peers played a substantial role in helping her to overcome her situation and build resilience. Building connections with caring adults is one way to prevent Adverse Childhood Experiences and mitigate their effects.
More than 100 people attended the event at the Hilton Garden Inn in downtown Sioux Falls. Guests were serenaded prior to the plated breakfast by Luke Bielfeldt and Noah Stremmel, two Brookings High School students, who plan to study music after graduation. Thank you to Luke and Noah for making the event even more special!
Aside from the outstanding programming, the event attendees brought positive energy and a commitment to helping children in need that was inspiring to witness.
Child Welfare Legal Workshop details child abuse and neglect case best practices
Legal professionals, students, CASA volunteers, social workers, educators and child advocates took advantage of the opportunity to learn from professionals in the child and adult advocacy field during the April 4 Child Welfare Legal Workshop in Vermillion. The event was sponsored by the South Dakota Unified Judicial System’s Court Improvement Program, the Center for the Prevention of Child Maltreatment and the University of South Dakota Knudson School of Law.
Program presenters included Steven R. Jensen, Chief Justice of the South Dakota Supreme Court; South Dakota Supreme Court Justice Scott P. Myren; Second Circuit Court Judge Sondra Hoglund Hanson; Carrie Mees of the Minnehaha County State’s Attorney’s Office; Attorney Nicole Laughlin of Laughlin Law; Pamela Bennett, Division Director of Child Protection Services; and Amanda Liebl of Child’s Voice at Sanford Health.
USD Knudson School of Law Dean Neil Fulton told attendees that children need to be cultivated like trees so they are strong and long-lasting.
“It’s entirely the work of CPCM to be the best arborists you’ve ever met,” he said.
One of the biggest problems faced by South Dakota families who are struggling is a lack of support, said Carrie Mees of the Minnehaha County State’s Attorney’s Office. “We need to help them build a support system.”
She related a story about struggles she experienced in her own life, and said she knew who she could call for help. She said some of the families she works with are unable to name the people they would call to help “pull them out of a ditch.”
Chief Justice Steven R. Jensen provided opening remarks for the day of training. He said in an article in the Yankton Daily Press and Dakotan the first time he walked into an abuse and neglect case he didn’t know a lot about the system. Jensen educated himself on what he called a very specialized arm of the court system. He said he would have benefited by learning from judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys and the Department of Social Services.
Throughout the training it was emphasized that one of the most important goals of those working with these cases is to provide support for the families, reunite children with their parents if possible, or provide them with a safe alternative.
Fulton said he encourages his law students to pursue a career in child protection.
“If we’re talking about the welfare of South Dakota’s children, there can’t be a greater investment in our futures and our communities than investing in our children,” the dean said.
Join us for May’s Court Improvement Program Lunch and Learn
Nicole Laughlin of Laughlin Law will present The Role of a Parent & Child Attorney in Child Welfare Cases as the featured speaker for the May Court Improvement Program Lunch and Learn via Zoom on May 25 from noon to 1 p.m. Central Time.
Laughlin graduated with a bachelor’s degree from the University of South Dakota in 2002. Nicole received her Juris Doctor from the University of South Dakota School of Law in 2006. After law school Nicole was chosen as Law Clerk for the Third Judicial Circuit of South Dakota. After clerking Nicole was hired by the Minnehaha County Public Defender’s office. Nicole gained a wealth of experience by spending countless hours in the courtroom over five and a half years as a Senior Public Defender. Nicole was eventually designated as the appellate attorney, which allowed her to focus primarily on appeals to the South Dakota Supreme Court. In January of 2013, Nicole opened Laughlin Law. Nicole is an adjunct professor at the University of South Dakota, Legal Studies. Today Nicole represents a diverse clientele in an array of cases. The philosophy of Laughlin Law is to provide compassionate and personalized representation to every client, while working to achieve the best possible outcome in each case.
Register here: Meeting Registration – Zoom
The Center for the Prevention of Child Maltreatment and the South Dakota Unified Judicial System are hosting monthly Court Improvement Program (CIP) trainings for attorneys, judges, and other multidisciplinary professionals working with families involved in abuse and neglect cases.
The goal of these trainings is to provide relevant and up-to-date information on the South Dakota child welfare system, while offering unique approaches and standards for best practices when working with children throughout the court process.
By learning more you can help keep children safe.