Hope and a future

Closeup of girl's face, showing eye, nose and hair in profile

With over 5,000 children in foster care and less than 2,000 foster homes, Arkansas is in a crisis. Since 2014, the number of children in foster care has steadily increased. The State of Arkansas is scratching its head, trying to figure out what to do about the problem.

James 1:27 states, “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress.”

Since 2007, The CALL has gone into churches to challenge people to do one of two things: Foster or support those who are able to foster. Little by little, The CALL breaks down the barriers that have kept people from fostering for so long. Over the past 10 years, The CALL has answered the hard questions for numerous families. Once those questions were answered, many families were ready to start the foster care/adoption process.

The Bible tells us the church is the answer, so that is where The CALL starts. We go into churches and host recruitments. We share our hearts and the need for foster families and challenge people to support foster families. Then, it is up to the churches. We host an informational meeting for interested couples to hear more about becoming a foster or adoption family.

Potential families have to complete a massive amount of paperwork, 30 hours of training, CPR, and more in order to open up as a foster or adoption home. Without The CALL, these families would be left to navigate the process by themselves. Many families who do this on their own quit or take longer to open because of the lack of support. The CALL guides families through this process, answering any questions and helping iron out wrinkles.

Once a foster family is open, The CALL becomes a part of their village. The CALL Mall helps families with clothes, baby furniture, diapers, and other necessities at no cost. The CALL stays in touch with these families to ensure they have what they need physically, emotionally, and spiritually to be great foster parents.

In the past 10 years, The CALL has helped open over 1,161 foster homes and 369 adoption homes. Over 501 children have been adopted by families supported by The CALL.

When you become a foster parent or volunteer with The CALL or donate to The CALL, you are making a difference locally. You can see the fruits of your labor because the foster children you pour your life into will grow up to be contributing members of your community.
There is a great need for foster families, but we understand that not every is called or able to foster. Even if you cannot foster, there’s still something you can do. If it takes a village to raise a family, it takes an entire church to support a foster family. The CALL needs people willing to donate their time, talent, and resources to help us eliminate the crisis in Arkansas. Do you have an extra hour a week? Can you help out a few hours a month or maybe more? If so, check out the volunteer page to find out where you can get plugged in. The CALL has a place for you.

Can’t foster or volunteer? Donate. The CALL is a non-profit organization and we cannot do anything to support these families without the financial support of generous individuals and churches.

We are not all meant to do the same thing, but we are all supposed to do something.

The CALL in Clark County

We launched The Call in Clark County in 2014 in response to our burden to pursue what we believe God considers pure and faultless religion—caring for orphans and foster children (see Jas. 1:27). We believe that such a task is intimately close to the heart of God. As Moses proclaimed, He is the “God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome who defends the cause of the fatherless” (Deut 10:17-18). Throughout the Old Testament, the Lord promises to bless people who care for these types of children and threatens to curse those who do not. Understanding this, Isaiah begins his book with a reminder of how important of a call this is to God:

Hear the word of the Lord to you…
Seek justice,
encourage the oppressed.
Defend the cause of the fatherless (Is. 1:17).

This divine imperative to care for such children was a common denominator in the early church. And we believe that it should also be for us. What will it profit our churches if on judgment day Christ says of us, “I was a foster kid, and you did not take me in. For what you did not do for the least of these, you did not do for me” (see Matt 25:41-45)?

Therefore, despite denominational differences in doctrine, we are calling all the Christian churches in Clark County—black, white, Asian, and Hispanic—to answer this call and come together for the sake of foster children. The number of children in foster care in our county greatly exceeds the number of foster homes we have available to care for them. As a result, local children are placed in foster homes or shelters in other counties. (This means changing schools, longer drive times to visitations and leaving friends and familiar places behind.) An overall sense of displacement is added to their already turned upside-down world. These children need a loving home in a community that is familiar to them.

Through the CALL, God is giving Christian families in our area an exciting opportunity to have an everlasting impact on children in foster care and those available for adoption. If just one family from each church in Clark County became a foster family, we would have a surplus of homes for our local kids.

We realize that not everyone is called to be a foster or adoptive parent but there are so many more ways our congregations can be actively involved in caring for the hurting children of our community.

The need is great. Please help us answer the call!