What is in this article?:
- Children's Home campus outside Paragould, Ark., is changing lives of needy children.
- Extension Service and 4-H programs educating and fostering bonds.
CHILDREN’S HOME IN Paragould, Ark., makes extensive use of Extension and 4-H programs. Among those overseeing the residents are Kisha Clayton, left, and Gary Cupp.
However it manifests – direct funding, labor, supplies -- support for the operation is always appreciated.
“We have swine producers in the area that have been very helpful with these programs,” says Davis. “For the last four or five years, they’ve donated piglets. The local community really is involved.
How many residents are there?
“We have three child-care components under our umbrella,” says Cupp. “The residential care, on our campus, usually has 40 to 45 children living in homes.
“We also are involved with foster care, providing boarding payments to Christian foster homes all over the state. Right now, there are around 60 children we’ve placed after a thorough screening of those foster homes.
“Most of the children on campus are from situations that are a bit extreme for foster care.
“We also do adoptions. Families wanting to adopt children, we will help.”
Are you still involved with the Church of Christ?
“Yes, we are. This was actually started in 1955 by the Church of Christ in Paragould. It was incorporated and there is a board of directors, by laws. It is primarily supported by Church of Christ, although many individuals and businesses from other denominations help us.”
How do residents typically come to you?
“All avenues, all directions. We don’t just serve Arkansans. Many of the children come to us through the court system – mom and dad are put in jail, where will the kids go?
“Many children come to us through private placement. There are more and more incidents of grandparents raising a 10-year-old. The parents have checked out, are on drugs or in jail. The grandparents, sadly, can’t handle the situation either financially or physically. We get calls asking us for help.
“It’s very important for us to keep the environment as much like a home as possible – not like an institution. Many of them come to us and we’re all they’ve got. There is no one out there waiting for them – they’re true orphans.”
How long do they usually stay?
“Some live their lives with us. But we like to have a minimum of a year with them, although they may stay just a few months. A lengthier amount of time can allow them to work through problems and turn things around.”
E-mail Cupp at firstname.lastname@example.org