Foster Families Needed as Numbers of Kids Grow in Arkansas

Local News

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – In the Natural State alone there are more than five thousand kids in foster care, and only 1600 foster families. The numbers don’t compare, and one family hopes their story will inspire others to help.

Jamie and Allie Barker, are new in many ways. Newly graduated, newly weds, and newly parents.

“When we started all this I was 22 and we graduated college less than a year before that and so definitely wasn’t on the radar,” said Jamie Barker.

The focus was starting their careers in the political and nursing fields, but that shifted when Allie said she saw some kids through first hand experiences at the hospital.

“There are some kids that come in with a mom and dad and don’t get to go home with a mom and dad so we see a lot of kids waiting on families to come pick them up,” said Allie Barker.

Which is why the Barkers decided to become foster parents.

“I came home a couple nights really upset about it and asked Jamie if he could come home with us,” said Allie.

We can’t show you his face, but the toys for 14-month-old made it clear.

“We just fell in love instantly after we met him,” said Allie.

But this child is just one of more than five thousand kids in Arkansas without loving homes.

On Monday, the Department of Human Services is expected to reveal Phase One of the Stabilization Plan.
Addressing the growing number of children in foster care in Arkansas.

The Barkers said taking in a foster child is one of the best things that could have happened to them…

“The only thing you have to do is give them a safe place to stay and a loving home as corny as it sounds it really is all these kids need and its easy to love a kid that comes into your home,” said the couple.

While The Barkers know being foster parents isn’t for everyone, they encourage everyone to try something new, and help a foster kid in need.
 

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