Weekly Columns

November is National Adoption Month, which is appropriate as we prepare our homes to welcome friends and family we each hold dear. Likewise, we are thankful for those who open their hearts and homes to provide a safe and loving environment for children to find happiness and build a successful future.

In Arkansas, nearly 300 children are waiting for a forever home. Although this presents a great challenge, we are fortunate to have the leadership of individuals and organizations across the state dedicated to ensuring positive outcomes for these youth. 

Arkansas True Vision Children’s Homes is one Natural State advocate doing tremendous work in its mission of caring for kids in emergencies and long-term foster care. In addition, the organization has assisted with 60 adoptions since 2015. 

True Vision operates three facilities across the state to address a variety of critical needs children face in the foster care system. The non-profit helps up to 50 kids each day with emergency shelter services, a long-term residential care facility and a neighborhood-like program that focuses on sibling groups. It is also a licensed service provider for the Arkansas Department of Children and Family Services.

As a member of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption, I was pleased to support a U.S. Senate-passed resolution recognizing November as National Adoption Month and November 18, 2023 as National Adoption Day. It’s important to recognize the people in Arkansas and all across the country who put love into action and make a positive impact on the wellbeing of children. So, I was especially pleased that Arkansas True Vision Children’s Homes was recently recognized by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (CCAI) as a 2023 Angel in Adoption.

Since 2001, CCAI has played a vital role in eliminating barriers standing between orphaned and foster children becoming part of a loving family. Through its signature public awareness program, Angels in Adoption, CCAI annually recognizes outstanding individuals, families and organizations that have made extraordinary contributions to adoption and child welfare.

It is also great to see the work leaders in the public and private sectors are doing to ensure children have the support they need and developing plans to make it easier for Arkansans to help. Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders is leading a new approach to help children in foster care. The Arkansas Strategic Plan for Foster Care Placement is bringing together the expertise of government, non-profit and faith-based organizations to improve the foster care system.

The working group established by this initiative has already made recommendations to help reduce barriers to assistance including enhanced family support for court proceedings and increased foster parent recruitment.

We are blessed to have Arkansans who are setting an amazing example to create a bright future for Natural State children. As we join family and friends around the Thanksgiving table, let us consider the call to serve the children around our state and across the nation in need of a forever home.