Child Abuse Reporting Laws for South Dakota

State and Statute: South Dakota, Code §§ 26-8A-1 et seq.

What Is Reportable “Abuse”: Physical or mental abuse or neglect by a child’s parent, guardian, or custodian, or sexual abuse by a child’s parent, guardian, custodian, or other person responsible for a child’s care. [8A-2]

Mandatory Reporters: Includes any counselor, teacher, school counselor or official, licensed or registered child welfare provider, employee or volunteer of a … child welfare service provider, or religious healing practitioner. [8A-3]

How and Where to Report: “Orally … by telephone or otherwise to the state’s attorney of the county in which the child resides or is present, to the Department of Social Services, or to law enforcement officers.” [8A-8]

Timeline to Report: Immediately. [8A-8]

Clergy Privilege: “The privilege of confidentiality set forth in §§ 19-2-3 (physician-patient privilege), 19-19-503 (psychotherapist-patient privilege), 19-19-504 (spousal privilege), 19-19-508.1 (school counselor-student privilege), and 36-26-30 (social worker-client privelege) may not be claimed in any judicial proceeding involving an alleged abused or neglected child or resulting from the giving or causing the giving of a report concerning abuse or neglect of a child … inclusive.” [8A-15]

Penalty for Knowingly Failing to Report: Class 1 misdemeanor. [8A-3]

Civil Liability for Failure to Report Recognized? No statute recognizes civil liability. Consult with legal counsel to ensure no recent court decisions in South Dakota have recognized civil liability.

Immunity for Inaccurate Report: “Any person or party participating in good faith in the making of a report … is immune from any liability, civil or criminal, that might otherwise be incurred or imposed.” [8A-14]

Disclosure of Mandatory Reporter’s Identity: No disclosure of confidential investigative records, except as authorized. [8A-13] Subject of an unsubstantiated investigation may request hearing to release reporter’s identity. [8A-11.1]

Additional Information for South Dakota:

All information provided here was most recently verified in March of 2023.

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