LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The Arkansas Department of Human Services says it’s hoping to give thousands of foster care kids a permanent home as it’s working to secure more foster families in the state after seeing a dip in numbers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Carolyn Tyler says for the past 36 years she has been fostering children. She said it comes from the heart. 

“I like to be a parent. I like to be an advocate. I like to be whatever it takes for that child to feel whole,” Tyler said. “I want to say I have fostered over 100 children. I have fostered from birth. I have taken them from the hospital all the way up to the age of 17.” 

She said she wants to help children find their path in life. 

“You have to be willing to go that extra mile to serve them with grace when they’re having difficulty because parenting is not an easy task,” Tyler said. 

Tiffany Wright is the director of the Division of Children and Family Services for the Arkansas DHS. She said foster families are still needed after the pandemic.

“It is hard to love and care for a child like your own and sometimes have to let them go for reunification,” Wright said. 

Wright said the number of kids in foster care also rose because of the pandemic.

“That was because things like courts were closed and everyone was really adjusting,” Wright said. 

Although the number is falling, there are still over 4,000 children in foster care. Wright is hoping to recruit more foster families with Every Child Arkansas.

“Serving family before, during and after foster care but it is this statewide effort with everyone working together to collaborate,” Wright said. 

Tyler said although fostering might not be for everyone, it can save lives. 

“Fostering is taking in children that come from dark places taking in children who don’t have the support that they need to grow into healthy young people,” Tyler said. 

Even when children leave her home, Tyler said building bonds is important because they can become unbreakable. 
Those who would like to learn more about fostering can go to