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Foster care is urgently needed in Northeastern Arkansas



Jonesboro, Arkansas – Foster care support is desperately needed in Northeast Arkansas, where there are frequently too few available homes for the children, forcing them to be removed from their hometowns.

“The 52 pinwheels here represent children that are not in Trumann anymore because there weren’t enough open homes,” said Heather Shrader, The Call coordinator for Craighead/Poinsett Counties, about 52 pinwheels she placed in front of the Trumann Municipal Complex.

Together We Foster’s executive director, Lindsay Roberts, endorsed this idea and emphasized the value of keeping kids in their home counties wherever feasible.

“Our goal is for children that are removed from their home to be able to stay in their home county,” Roberts said. “We want them to go to their school. We want them to still be involved with their friends and be around things that they’re familiar with.”

There are many other ways to help the foster care community besides providing foster children with homes.

“We want people to realize that you don’t have to open your home to be involved in foster care,” Roberts said.

“It’s really important for families and individuals to understand that we all have something to offer kids in care,” Shrader added. “Whether it’s baking a cake, or babysitting, or meals, or just offering a word of support.”

The Call and Together We Foster both actively seek out and prepare families that are interested in fostering, giving them the tools they need to be successful.

Shrader’s objective had great personal significance for her, having been adopted at the age of nine from foster care.

Shrader stresses the significant influence of fostering and exhorts others who are thinking of doing so to get in touch.

“Anyone that’s considering foster, definitely reach out. Give it a year. A year is all it took for me to stay in the same school district, to stay in my community of Trumann, to be able to feel the benefits of just having a stable home,” Shrader said. “And it contributed to my life and happiness as an adult.”

Both Shrader and Roberts exhort the neighborhood to consider if at all possible, offering their homes to foster children.


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