Policies in Arkansas

Strategies to Support First Placement in Families

This brief by Casey Family Programs highlights strategies used in Arkansas to deepen capacity to place children in family settings at the outset rather than in group settings, such as: designating resource staff in each region to support emergency placements with relatives and offering an optional mass text-messaging tool that allows hundreds of foster parents to be immediately notified when there is a placement need. In Arkansas, where leadership has been carefully tracking trend data, the percentage of children in kinship care increased from 14 percent to almost 30 percent between May 2016 and August 2017, and during the same time period the number of children in emergency shelter placements was reduced by more than 50 percent.

To learn more, see the brief, "How can we ensure a child’s first placement is with family?"