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.

State Administration

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.