April is Child Abuse Awareness month. Sadly, child abuse and neglect are huge problems in Region 8. According to DHS, as of today, there are over 500 kids in the foster care system, just in Region 8.
Let that sink in – 500 kids in foster care – in Region 8 alone. In Greene County, there are 164 kids in the custody of DHS, but only 71 available beds in 28 homes. This means over half of the foster kids in Greene County don't have a bed to sleep in, and are being sent somewhere else.
DHS considers Greene County in "crisis mode". Their primary goal when it comes to foster care placement is to keep the siblings together, keep them within the same school district, and keep them within 50 miles of their home. This is almost impossible in Greene County.
We need more homes that offer kids a safe place to sleep, food, encouragement, and love. While Greene County is in desperate need, they are not alone. All counties in Region 8 need more people to open their homes.
If you are interested in finding out more information, go to www.fosterarkansas.org - We have to provide more homes for children in need, doing so will make this A Better Region 8.
- Chris Conroy, KAIT VP & General Manager