Moving Beyond Crisis: Phase One: Plan to Stabilize the Arkansas Child Welfare System. Special Report, November 2016.
Arkansas Department of Human Services.
State Resource Technical Report
Published: November 2016
201 East Markham Suite 200
Little Rock, AR 72201
Tel: (501) 375-2985
Fax: (501) 375-3623
This report presents the findings and recommendations of an interdisciplinary team that explored innovative and wide-ranging ways to bring about systemic change in Arkansas child welfare services. The report discusses phase one in the reform effort, and explains recommendations that address three key goals: strengthening families so children can remain safely at home, improving the foster care system for children who need it, and building a more dynamic behavioral health system to serve children and families. Recommendations include: Medicaid-funded home visiting programs; expanded mentoring parenting programs with partners; increasing relative placements; streamlining the Department of Human Service’s foster care application process; recruiting more families of older youth and siblings; recruiting families for children with special needs; supporting foster families; using customer service as a foster parent recruitment and retention tool; better supporting caseworkers; assessing the current foster care population; reducing reliance on congregate care for younger children; and filling service gaps to reduce institutional care.
Arkansas; child welfare services; child welfare reform; foster children; mental health services; home visiting programs; parent education; kinship care; foster parent recruitment; caseworkers; residential care institutions