December 22, 2011

Social Services helps keep holidays happy for children

Social Services helps keep holidays happy for children


By Chris Gessele
The magic of the Christmas season lights up children’s faces.
Nothing douses that light faster than physical or psychological abuse.
Dakota Central Social Ser-vices, a regional social service agency based in Washburn, is here to help restore that light. Dakota Central offers public assistance eligibility determination, child welfare services and home- and community-based services in Mercer, Oliver, Mc-Lean and Sheridan counties.
Since Jan. 1, the agency has assessed 111 reports of child abuse or neglect in the four-county area, according to Dakota Central Social Services director Steve Reiser, with a large majority stemming from McLean and Mercer counties due to their relatively high population totals.
Dakota Central averages about 10-12 foster care placements per month, Reiser estimated, with 12 children currently in foster care. The holiday season has no noticeable effect on the number or reports fielded by Dakota Central, though report numbers do increase during the school year.
“We might see more reports of child abuse and neglect during the school year because children are more visible,” Reiser explained.


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