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Social Services, Dept. of

 Record Group
Identifier: DSS

Scope and Contents

This record group contains records created and mantained by the Department of Social Services as well as its divisions and offices. Records include administrative files; correspondence with other South Dakota government agencies and departments; photographs; case files related to specific persons and families, day cares, and nursing homes; board and commission meeting minutes and agendas; project files; and finally various publications including newsletters and pamphlets, and reports. These records range in date from 1936 to 2006.


  • 1933 - 2006


Due to the nature of responsibilities of the Dept. of Social Services, many records contain confidential information about individuals, which is restricted from public access. Restricted record series are identified in this guide.

Administrative History

The Department of Social Services (DSS) was created in 1973 as part of a larger restructuring of state government. The DSS included "the divisions of social welfare, services to the visually and physically handicapped, mental health and mental retardation, human relations, and corrections." It absorbed the functions of the Department of Public Welfare, the Board of Charities and Corrections, as well as a number of other boards and commissions. The commission on the Status of Women also operated within the department starting in 1975. In 1989, the Board of Charities and Corrections was abolished and its functions transferred to the newly created Department of Corrections and Department of Human Services.

As of 2016, DSS consisted of the division of Adult Services and Aging, division of Behavioral Health Services, division of Child Care Services, division of Child Protection Services, division of Child Support, division of Economic Assistance, division of Legal Services, and finally the division of Medical Services. DSS also oversaw and administered WPA projects in South Dakota. With the exception of the board of Charities and Corrections which has its own finding aid, this finding aid reflects the full administrative history of this agency as records date from 1933 to 2006.


323.9 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials


Guide to the Records of the South Dakota Department of Social Services
Sara Casper, Government Records Archivist, and Miranda Webster, Processing Intern
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Preparation of this finding aid was made possible by a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC).
Edition statement
1st Edition

Repository Details

Part of the South Dakota State Archives Repository

900 Governors Dr
Pierre South Dakota 57501 USA
605-773-6041 (Fax)