The History of the Sioux Empire Network of Care

The Sioux Empire Network of Care is a product of long-time discussions throughout the Sioux Empire about the need for a coordinated intake system to better serve individuals and provide data for decision making. A group of community-minded individuals convened together in spring 2014 to discuss how to make a coordinated intake system a reality. With the Helpline Center taking the lead role, the group applied for a Bush Foundation Community Innovation Grant and was awarded the grant in June 2015. The Community Innovation Grant provided funds to move forward with the project.

In the fall 2015, the Helpline Center convened a collaborative of community partners from multiple non-profit and government organizations to discuss further opportunities and barriers with such an undertaking. Through these meetings, the decision was made to move forward with a pilot project with the goal of launching a shared software solution allowing non-profits to communicate across organizations in an efficient manner with keeping a focus on client privacy.

The Sioux Empire Network of Care officially launched September 1, 2016. The Helpline Center assumed the lead role as the system administrator to implement a shared software solution among nonprofit organizations. The Sioux Empire Network of Care was officially launched September 1, 2016 with the St. Francis House as the first agency to implement the shared software. In the following months the four additional pilot agencies have been added, Feeding South Dakota – Food Pantry, The Community Outreach, 211 Helpline, and Center of Hope. The agencies now collect data in one system along with sharing a common intake form. For example, if a single mom (Lisa) visits the food pantry and also receives a referral for services at The Community Outreach, she only needs to fill out one common intake. Each agency is able to see her basic information along with the other services provided to Lisa, which helps them better serve the needs of Lisa. To learn more about the Sioux Empire Network of Care, please contact Betsy Schuster at or (605) 274-1412.