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.

January Session

January 26 from 12-1 pm Central Time

Session Description:

Implicit Bias

Presented by: Taneeza Islam

Taneeza Islam moved to Sioux Falls with her family in 2012. In 2013 she was awarded a Bush Foundation Leadership Fellowship and started her private immigration law practice. In 2015 she launched a two year Legal Incubator Pilot Program with funding from the SD Bar Foundation and in partnership with East River Legal services. In 2017 she co-founded and started the work of SD Voices for Peace and SD Voices for Justice. SDVFP is an education, legal service, advocacy and rapid response organization lifting the voices of immigrant, refugees and Muslims in SD. In its first two years SDVFJ led the effort in defeating 83% of bigoted bills proposed during legislative session in Pierre, SD. In less than four years, their team grew to 12 staff! Taneeza launched SDVFPs legal services program in November 2019 where they provide the state’s only free legal service to children in immigration court AND domestic violence survivors who are immigrants. In response to COVID-19 Taneeza led the effort to create the SD Immigrant Fund which SD Voices for Peace staffed and administered in partnership with the SD Dream Coalition. She led the effort to raise $1.2M for the fund which reached 1700 immigrant led households across the state. In response to the murder of George Floyd and the national movement which has sprung into action, Taneeza led the effort in partnering with 24 leaders of color and allies to create the SD Justice and Equity Coalition which is focusing their work on community safety and justice reform in SD. In July of 2021, SDVFP received several grants, including one from the CDC’s VEAP program to provide multilingual vaccine education and organize pop up clinics. As of December 2021, SDVFP has partnered with SD Urban Indian Health and Lewis Drug to administer over 300 vaccines to BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) communities. Taneeza has spoken at TedxUSD “When Social Justice Work Meets Entrepreneurship” and TEDxBrookings “Imported Hate: When Islamophobia Meets Rural America.” SDVFP is a recipient of the JMKaplan Innovation Prize winner of 2019, Bush Foundation Community Innovation Recipient in 2020, and in October 2020, Taneeza received national recognition “Muslims Making Change” for her COVID-19 efforts in SD by Muslim Advocates. She was recently awarded EMBE’s Embeliever Award 2021, and SDVFP was recognized as the social impact start-up of the year – 2021 at Hey! Sioux Falls.

For over 20 years Taneeza has been building communities and advocating for vulnerable communities as a lawyer for 13 years. Her work and community support inspired her to announce her candidacy for Sioux Falls Mayor. Elections are on April 12, 2022. You can find more information about her candidacy here”

Upcoming sessions

Future CIP training sessions:

Use the linked session titles below to register.

Wed Jan 26 – Implicit Bias

Wed Feb 23 – Family Time and Sibling/Relative Placement Preferences

Wed Mar 30 – Conversation with a Foster Family

Wed Apr 27 – Best Practices on Abuse/Neglect Cases  in Conjunction with State Bar

Previous Trainings

December 29, 2021: Codington County Family Court Pilot Project

Presenter: Judge Carmen Means

November 17, 2021: Stress Triggers on Families, including Holiday Stress

Presenter: Nikki Eining, Avera Behavioral Brookings

October 27, 2021: Connecting Families and Clients with Services

Presenter: Betsy Schuster, Helpline Center

October 13, 2021: Cultural Awareness in the Courtroom

Wayne Weston, Center for Disabilities

September 22, 2021: Family Considerations in Abuse and Neglect Cases

Presenter: Tifanie Petro, Children’s Home Society

August 25, 2021: Safety and Planning Conditions for Return

Presenter: Pam Bennett, Department of Social Services