A Place Of Hope And Healing
This has been the Ranch’s belief since its creation by the Sheriffs of Arkansas in 1976. Children who come to the Ranch are often the product of a broken home due to abuse and neglect. They often lack the nurturing relationship of a loving family. The Ranch is a transformative family style foster care program that provides a healthy home environment filled with emotional support. Our goal is to help each child learn to trust those around them and cope with their emotions, all the while learning responsibility and building self confidence. The Ranch’s mission is to address, remedy, and prevent child abuse and neglect by creating safe, healthy, and permanent homes for children.
Children who come to the Ranch are surrounded with individuals who not only care about their immediate needs, but they also inspire their future aspirations. It is the Ranch’s commitment to every child – a commitment that extends from its board of trustees to its dedicated houseparents – to help them believe in themselves and lead fulfilling, meaningful lives. There is no “up and out” policy at the Ranch. Residents may stay at the Ranch for as long as they need a home, up to age 21. They can stay through post-secondary education until they are socially and financially prepared for independence and have stable employment. More than 2,100 boys and girls have experienced life at the Ranch, and for those and many in the future, the Ranch will always be a place to call home.
The Ranch began as a mobile home on several acres in Independence County in 1976. Through the support of Arkansans and the state’s county sheriffs, the program has expanded to serve children from every corner of the state. What began as a safe haven for two boys has provided thousands of Arkansas boys and girls with a place to always call home. Read more on our history in the Arkansas History Encyclopedia.
The Sheriffs’ Support
Arkansas’s county sheriffs have played an important role throughout the Ranch’s history and continue that support today. The idea to begin the Ranch started with a couple of concerned and disappointed sheriffs who had helped place boys in residential homes that weren’t providing satisfactory care. Their idea grew and was soon presented to members of the Arkansas Sheriffs’ Association (ASA), asking for their support to develop a home for children that would rely solely on the generosity of Arkansans.
After much research, the ASA decided in 1974 that a separate, freestanding non-profit organization should be established as long as it had the full support of all Arkansas’s 75 county sheriffs. Supporters traveled to every county and met with each sheriff, earning their approval. In late 1975, an incorporation document with the signatures of all 75 sheriffs was presented to the ASA – the first and only document of its kind – and the Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranches was born.
The same enthusiasm and passion that helped create the Ranch more than 40 years ago continues with today’s sheriffs. Whether it’s hosting a golf tournament, recording a PSA, or speaking to local groups, Arkansas county sheriffs are committed to supporting the Ranch and making this state a better place to call home for our youth. Check out the Sheriffs in Action section on our News Page to learn more about their current efforts.