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Mandatory reporting laws in South Dakota

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Two men, Luke Norden and Jeremy Borgan, are being charged with failing to report alleged crimes. The men, Norden the head coach for the Mitchell Post 18 Legion baseball team, and Borgan, a member of the Mitchell Baseball Association board, are each facing counts of failure to report abuse or neglect of a child.

These charges were made one week after six members of Mitchell Post 18’s varsity baseball team were charged with rape.

Under South Dakota law, a variety of persons are constituted as mandatory reporters of child abuse and neglect. Those who fail to report, according to statute, are guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

An abused or neglected child under South Dakota law means the following:

  • A child whose parent, guardian, or custodian has abandoned the child or has subjected the child to mistreatment or abuse;
  • A child who lacks proper parental care through the actions or omissions of the child’s parent, guardian, or custodian;
  • A child whose environment is injurious to the child’s welfare;
  • A child whose parent, guardian, or custodian fails or refuses to provide proper or necessary subsistence, supervision, education, medical care, or any other care necessary for the child’s health, guidance, or well-being;
  • A child who is homeless, without proper care, or not domiciled with the child’s parent, guardian, or custodian through no fault of the child’s parent, guardian, or custodian;
  • A child who is threatened with substantial harm;
  • A child who has sustained emotional harm or mental injury as indicated by an injury to the child’s intellectual or psychological capacity evidenced by an observable and substantial impairment in the child’s ability to function within the child’s normal range of performance and behavior, with due regard to the child’s culture;
  • A child who is subject to sexual abuse, sexual molestation, or sexual exploitation as defined in § 22-22-24.3, by the child’s parent, guardian, custodian, or any other person responsible for the child’s care;
  • A child who was subject to prenatal exposure to abusive use of alcohol, marijuana, or any controlled drug or substance not lawfully prescribed by a practitioner as authorized by chapters 22-42 and 34-20B; or
  • A child whose parent, guardian, or custodian knowingly exposes the child to an environment that is being used for the manufacture, use, or distribution of methamphetamines or any other unlawfully manufactured controlled drug or substance.

A summary posted by the South Dakota Department of Social Services explains that a mandatory reporter is “an individual or agency who is required by state law to report any
instance where he or she has reasonable cause to suspect that a child under the age of 18 has
been abused or neglected.”

Under state law, these reporters are required to report any instance of abuse or neglect to the state’s attorney of the county in which the child resides or is present, DSS or law enforcement.

Mandatory reporters in South Dakota are the following:

  • Physician
  • Dentist, optometrist or podiatrist
  • Doctor of osteopathy
  • Chiropractor
  • EMT or paramedic
  • Mental health professional or counselor
  • Psychologist
  • Religious healing practitioner
  • Social worker
  • Hospital intern or resident
  • Parole or court services officer
  • Teacher, school counselor or school official nurse
  • Parole or court services officer
  • Teacher, school counselor or school official nurse
  • Employee or volunteer of a domestic abuse shelter
  • Chemical dependency counselor
  • Coroner
  • Employee or volunteer of a child advocacy organization or child welfare service provider
  • Any safety-sensitive position as defined in SDCL 3-6C-1, which includes any custody staff employed by any agency responsible for the rehabilitation or treatment of any adjudicated adult or juvenile.

Reports should be made orally and immediately.


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