15th National Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect
ACYF Commissioner's Award Book
Department of Social Services
Mary Livermont, the Protective Services Program Specialist for the Division of Child Protection Services of the South Dakota Department of Social Services since 1998, began her career with Child Protection Services in 1985 as a social worker. In the interim, she held the positions of Child Protection Services Supervisor and Training Program Specialist. Her knowledge of child welfare and commitment to the work of the Department of Social Services is evident in her ongoing effort to improve practice in South Dakota and, consequently, to benefit the families and children the Department serves.
Ms. Livermont has assisted in the Child and Family Services Reviews, as well as been a team leader for the Safety Workgroup formed to develop and oversee the implementation of the safety section of South Dakota's Program Improvement Plan (PIP). South Dakota's Child Protection Services has made significant strides in efforts to improve safety services to children and families due to Ms. Livermont's leadership. Results of the PIP Safety Workshop's efforts include completion of a recurrence study; implementation of a specialized intake system; improved policies related to intake, screening, and response, which helped improve timeliness; and a collaborative effort to create a pilot program that involves alcohol and drug counselors at emergency custody hearings.
Additionally, Ms. Livermont assumed the tasks of providing technical assistance to staff doing quality assurance reviews regarding the safety evaluation and safety assessment processes of Child Protection Services. One of two staff members to facilitate a collaborative effort between Child Protection Services and the core community alcohol and drug providers, she also participated in the Court Improvement Projects granting process for the Court Appointed Special Advocate program and reviewed grants for United Way.