A Place Of Hope And Healing

Since its inception in 1976, the Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranch has provided children a place to call home–a place of hope and healing. Children who come to the Ranch often come from broken homes with a history of child maltreatment. They typically lack nurturing family relationships. The Ranch is a transformative family-style foster care program. It provides a healthy, emotionally-supportive home environment. At the ASYR, we help children learn to trust others and to cope with their emotions while learning responsibility, building healthy boundaries, and improving 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 by individuals who not only care about their immediate needs but also inspire 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. Ranchers can stay through post-secondary education until they are socially and financially prepared for independence and/or have obtained stable employment. More than 2,100 boys and girls have experienced life at the Ranch. For those and many in the future, the Ranch will always be a place to call home.

Our History

Thanks to the support of Arkansans and county sheriffs, the Ranch began as a mobile home on several acres in Independence County in 1976. What began as a safe haven for two boys has expanded to serve thousands of Arkansas boys and girls with a place to always call home. Read more on our history in the Arkansas History Encyclopedia.

Arkansas sheriffs youth ranch

The Sheriffs’ Support

Arkansas’s county sheriffs have played an important role throughout the Ranch’s history and continue it today. The idea for the Ranch started with a few concerned and disappointed sheriffs who had helped place boys in residential homes providing unsatisfactory care. The sheriffs’ idea grew and was shared with the Arkansas Sheriffs’ Association (ASA). The sheriffs asked for support to develop a home for children, relying solely on  Arkansans’ generosity.

After conducting research, the ASA decided in 1974 that a separate, freestanding non-profit organization should be established contingent upon full support of all Arkansas’ 75 county sheriffs. Supporters traveled to every county to meet with sheriffs, earning approval. In late 1975, an incorporation document with 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 founded.

The same enthusiasm and passion that helped establish the Ranch more than 40 years ago continues with today’s sheriffs. Whether hosting a golf tournament, recording a PSA, or speaking to local groups, Arkansas county sheriffs are committed to supporting the Ranch. Our sheriffs make this state a better place to call home for youth. Check out Sheriffs in Action on our News Page to learn more about their current efforts.


The ASYR complies with all civil rights provisions of federal statutes and related authorities that prohibit discrimination in programs and activities receiving federal financial assistance.  Therefore, the ASYR does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, color, age, national origin, religion or disability, Limited English Proficiency (LEP), or low-income status in the admission, access to and treatment in the ASYRs programs and activities, as well as the ASYRs hiring or employment practices.  Complaints of alleged discrimination and inquiries regarding the ASYR’s nondiscrimination policies may be directed to Philip Ives (Title VI Coordinator), 870-793-6841 (Voice/TTY 711), or the following email address: philip@youthranches.com or emily@youthranches.com.

Free language assistance for Limited English Proficient individuals is available upon request.