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south dakota developmental center


The South Dakota Developmental Center (SDDC), a residential intermediate care facility for the developmentally disabled (ICF/IID), is a division of the Department of Human Services. Established by an act of the legislature in 1899, SDDC was opened for admissions in 1902.

The SDDC population is projected to stabilize in the area of 160 people. The population decrease, from the high of approximately 1200 in the mid-1960’s, is a direct result of the establishment of community based service providers in various cities throughout the state. These community based service providers have enabled people to live closer to their families and obtain services in less-restrictive community settings.

SDDC's ninety-acre campus is located on state-owned land adjacent to the northwest city limits of Redfield. Persons served at SDDC spend the majority of their time between the twenty residential living areas, an Activity Center, All Faiths Chapel, vocational training centers, the Grace Schaefer School and a Food Service building. Administration and Granite office buildings, as well as Health Care Services and Environmental Services Buildings, which include a powerhouse, water plant, laundry, maintenance and carpenter shop and warehouses are also on the campus.



SDDC takes the Interdisciplinary (ID) Team approach to provision of services. Program development for each person begins with thorough evaluations and assessments in all areas of daily living, with recommendations being addressed by an ID Team. The ID Team, including the person supported, determines which combination of therapies, activities, training and services are needed to enable the person to progress to his/her highest level of independence. All services are monitored and revised as needed throughout the year to continually meet the needs of the person.

The mission of the South Dakota Developmental Center is to provide individualized treatment services and supports to people with developmental disabilities and challenging behaviors only when needed services are not available in a community setting.

The needs and abilities of the people residing at SDDC are quite diverse. Serving a population ranging from 12-77 years of age with varying degrees of disabilities, the service delivery system offers a variety of treatment environments. Based on the needs of each person, development may focus on the areas of personal care, social interaction skills, behavioral impulse control, making appropriate choices, domestic skills, etc. Depending upon the person, techniques may be utilized to enhance sensory motor skills, responses to stimuli, orientation to one’s environment, etc. Vocational and educational training are also offered. SDDC further encourages and makes every effort to maintain positive and appropriate family interaction.

Services are provided to each person in one of twenty residential living areas (modules) within the three program areas. Each module is composed of age-appropriate peers with similar abilities. Program One serves adult men. Program Two, also known as the Turtle Creek Youth Program, is comprised of male and female adolescents. Program Three provides services to men and women of varying ages and skill levels.



The Center provides a wide variety of training and vocational opportunities both on and off campus. On-campus training includes recycling, woodworking/crafts, meter salvage, packaging bird seed and golf tees, spin art, producing note pads and bookmarks and looming rugs from material remnants. The people receiving services operate a driving range, grow starter plants for resale, deliver mail on campus, stock nourishments and work in the campus laundry, Canteen, and gift shop. The facility has also obtained contract work with outside entities for assembling and packaging bottom bouncers.

Recognized as an integral part of everyone’s life, opportunities are provided for socialization and participation in recreational activities. People may choose to participate in activities such as attending movies, dances, religious services, sporting events, field trips and picnics. Other favorites include swimming, exercising, shopping, dining out, fishing and boating, excursions to the library and home visits.

The philosophy under which SDDC operates focuses on providing the care, guidance, opportunities and support necessary for each person to progress to his/her highest level of independence. More detailed and comprehensive information concerning SDDC is available upon request from the Director’s Office.