Special Efforts Being Made in Arkansas to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities
In the 2015-16 fiscal year, the governor allocated $1 million to hire additional child welfare caseworkers, and he requested an additional $4.1 million for the 2016-17 fiscal year so that DCFS can build a prevention and reunification unit that will focus on helping families keep their children safely at home. This is part of the governor's proposed $39 million increase in DCFS funding over the next 2 years. [Recommendations 5.1a, 7.3]
DHS requested federal approval to create a new Medicaid-funded home visiting program, through which paraprofessionals will provide evidence-based, in-home services designed to strengthen families by focusing on infant and parent health, parent-child interactions and home safety. [Recommendation 7.1a]
November 08, 2017- Public health officials say far fewer Arkansas children died from unsafe sleeping environments or sudden infant death syndrome in the past year. A new report by the Arkansas Department of Human Services shows that child deaths from suffocation or other injuries while sleeping dropped 62 percent from 2016 to 2017.
September 07, 2017- A year after Arkansas reached an alarming record in the number of children in foster care - and the governor said the system was in crisis - the state's top child welfare officials say significant improvements have been made. But in a meeting with reporters Wednesday, they acknowledged there's still much more work to be done.