Churches across the state are hearing the C.A.L.L. Children of Arkansas Loved for a Lifetime (C.A.L.L.) is a Christian foster care initiative looking to recruit foster families for the hundreds of Arkansas children who need a home.
The initiative works closely with the Arkansas Department of Human Services, Division of Children and Family Services to provide options for the hundreds of children currently in the state's foster care system.
The C.A.L.L. is unique, in that it provides the opportunity for prospective foster and adoptive parents to go through state-approved training within a church setting. Parents have an automatic support group as they go through training with each other, plus the C.A.L.L. walks them through every step of the process to make their transition into foster care as easy as possible.
"Foster parenting is a calling. We've had over 300 children pass through our home through the years. It's very rewarding, but you have to be prepared for trials and heartbreaks, and also for the joy these children bring into your life," said Sue Sanders with the Foster Parent Association of Izard, Fulton and Sharp counties.
July 8, the C.A.L.L. of Sharp, Fulton and Izard counties, in conjunction with the Foster Parent Association of Izard, Fulton and Sharp counties, met to organize their local chapter and begin recruiting foster and adoptive families for children in these three counties.
According to Gary Phillips, chair of the steering committee, there are approximately 112 children in the three counties and only 17 foster families. "The need is clear. We have to reach out to Christian families and show them the difference they can make in the lives of these children," Phillips said.
The C.A.L.L. of Sharp, Fulton and Izard counties will be holding its first informational meeting for the public on July 20 from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Salem Church of Christ. Anyone who is interested in finding out more about the program is invited to attend.