Sometimes the State of South Dakota and the Department of Social Services will remove children from their parents or from the parents’ home out of a concern for the child’s welfare. The State may then petition on behalf of the child in what is known as an abuse & neglect proceeding. While these proceedings always begin with the goal of reuniting children with parents, they can, under certain circumstances, lead to the termination of parental rights – permanently removing any legal right or authority a parent has concerning the child. Often there are related criminal charges as well. Having an attorney who is experienced with both abuse & neglect as well as criminal defense will give you the best possible representation.