Welfare Director
Sara Foust
7 West Kemp
Watertown, SD 57201

Email Email Welfare
Phone (605)882-6286
Hours of Operation Mon-Fri 9am-4pm

Guidlines PDF


Codington County is happy to partner with the South Dakota Housing Development Authority (SDHDA) to process applications for SD Cares housing assistance for South Dakotans who have been financially impacted by COVID-19 and need help paying their housing expenses including rent, mortgage, and utilities.

Assistance provided is not a loan and does not have to be paid back. Payment is made directly to the landlord, mortgage servicer, or utility provider on the applicant’s behalf. Households who may have current protections in place such as an eviction moratorium, should inquire about this financial assistance.

Potential applicants can visit SD Cares Housing and Utilities Assistance to verify eligibility requirements and to begin the application process. Those without internet access can contact the Codington County Welfare Office at 605-882-6286 to apply.


County Services

Codington County Welfare provides emergency assistance for indigent individuals who are county residents and meet the eligibility criteria, as outlined in the Codington County approved guidelines and state statutes.  This program is a resource of last resort which assists individuals who have no other public or private third-party coverage.

Depending upon funding and eligibility, available emergency services may include shelter, rent, utility bills, medications, emergency transportation, burials, or hospital bills. County assistance is provided only when other resources have been exhausted. We also strive to promote collaborative efforts by ensuring that all individuals and families locate alternative supportive resources that will educate, empower, and assist them in reaching their maximum potential for self sufficiency.

Economic Assistance

Economic Assistance is an emergency assistance program. Eligibility is based on state statute and county guidelines. The amount of assistance granted is established in the county guidelines. For all assistance granted a state statute requires that a lien is placed against the individual. Economic Assistance is not an on-going program, but is designed to address the immediate need.

Due to the attachment of a lien, the individual is encouraged to exhaust all other resources prior to making application with the county. The county will assist in making appropriate referrals and can act as an advocate on the individual's behalf.

Types of assistance provided:

  • Rent
  • Utilities
  • Grocery
  • Emergency Transportation

Medical Assistance

The county is a resource of last resort and requires that all other resources be exhausted first. Medical Assistance is determined by a formula established in the state statutes. The individual's availability and affordability of health care coverage will be one determining factor of eligibility. All medical services must meet the criteria of medical necessity set by state statute. The county works directly with medical providers and past and current employers in assessing eligibility. The county must approve non-emergency medical procedures prior to the services being performed. The county investigates any potential third-party payee. If the county approves financial assistance, a repayment plan will be established.

Types of assistance provided:

  • Medication
  • Hospital
  • Any other medical need that is referred by a physician

Funeral Assistance

Codington County Welfare provides financial assistance for funeral services and burials for qualified individuals. Referrals are made by the funeral home making arrangements

Systems of Care


Codington County is working to establish a system to unite social services in our community. The goals of this effort are:

  1. Improve communication between service providers
  2. Improve utilization of services by community members
  3.  Identify and address community social service needs

All agencies and individuals interested in being a part of the System of Care can call our office for more information. Social Service providers are also welcome to attend our monthly Interagency Meeting. The next meeting will take place on Thursday May 13th at Noon at the Hy Vee Community room.

The county is also committed to being a central connecting point for local services. Please see the attached link for a listing of local resources.  

Social Services Resource Directory PDF
Food & Housing Resources PDF