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.
Court Improvement Program Training Series

November/December Session

December 7, 2022, 12:00 PM CT – Sheldon Spotted Elk and Jack Trope, Casey Family Programs | Overview of Brackeen v Haaland

The November and December CIP training sessions will be combined into one date on December 7. Sheldon Spotted Elk and Jack Trope will discuss an overview of Brackeen v Haaland.

Please register in advance here.

Sheldon Spotted Elk (Northern Cheyenne) is a Senior Director, Judicial and National Engagement, at Casey Family Programs. He works regularly as a strategic partner with both Tribal and state court systems towards improving outcomes for Indigenous families.

He currently serves as a judge for a tribal court of appeals. He has taught adjunct courses and provided many presentations at law schools throughout the country. And he has authored articles on tribal law and the Indian Child Welfare Act.

Sheldon is a graduate of University of New Mexico School of Law. He is the father of two sons.

Jack F. Trope is a Senior Director in Indian Child Welfare Programs at Casey Family Programs where he works on national and local initiatives aimed at promoting compliance with the Indian Child Welfare Act, increasing tribal access to the Title IV-E Foster Care and Adoption Assistance Program and improving child welfare outcomes for children and families in state and tribal systems through training and systems improvement.  Previously, Jack served as the Executive Director of the Association on American Indian Affairs (AAIA) for more than 13 years (and as Staff Attorney earlier in his career). He has also served as Director of the Albuquerque-based Western Area Office for the Save the Children Federation, and held a number of legal positions including being a partner with the law firm of Sant’Angelo & Trope. Mr. Trope has worked on Indian child welfare matters since 1985 and is a co-author of the 3rd Edition of the Indian Child Welfare Act Handbook published by the American Bar Association.

Upcoming Sessions

Future CIP training sessions:

Use the linked session titles below to register.

December 7, 2022, 12:00 PM CTOverview of Brackeen v Haaland

January 25, 2023, 12:00 PM CT – Topic details coming soon, register here

February 22, 2023, 12:000 PM CT – Eric Grover, Independent Living and Young Voices

March 29, 2023, 12:00 PM CT – Scott Sheldon, Situational Awareness

April 26, 2023, 12:00 PM CT – Training in conjunction with the State Bar, Child Abuse Awareness Month

May 31, 2023, 12:00 PM CT – Topic details coming soon, register here

June 28, 2023, 12:00 PM CT – Carrie Sanderson, 2023 Legislative Update

Previous Trainings

October 26, 2022: Multidisciplinary Teams

Presenters: Brittany Novotny, Children’s Advocacy Centers of SD; Amanda Liebl, Child’s Voice at Sanford Health; Angelsa Lisburg, Avera St. Mary’s Central South Dakota Child Assessment Center; and Tifanie Petro, Children’s Home Child Advocacy Center.

August 31, 2022: Huron Safety Plan Project

Presenters: Dawn Johnson, Regional Manager for Child Protection Services, Department of Social Services and Winter Hendrickson, Foster Parent

June 29, 2022: Legislative Update

Presenters: Carrie Sanderson, Director, Center for the Prevention of Child Maltreatment

May 25, 2022: The Role of a Parent & Child Attorney in Child Welfare Cases

Presenters: Nicole Laughlin, Laughlin Law

April 27, 2022: Role of a State’s Attorney in Child Abuse and Neglect Cases

Presenters: Lake County State’s Attorney Wendy Kloeppner and Pennington County Deputy State’s Attorney Roxie Erickson

March 30, 2022: Conversations with a Foster Parent

February 23, 2022: Family Time and Sibling/Relative Placement Preferences

Presenter: Sara Sheppick, SD Child Protection Services

January 26, 2022: Understanding Bias and Impact on the Legal System

Presenter: Taneeza Islam

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

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