A Place Of Hope And Healing

Since 1976, the Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranch has provided children a place to call home. Children often come to the Ranch with a history of child maltreatment. They usually 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 feel safe and trust others. Thus, children at the Ranch learn to cope with emotions while learning responsibility, gaining life skills, building healthy boundaries, and improving self-confidence.

Arkansas Sheriffs' Youth Ranches

The Ranch’s mission is to address, remedy, and prevent child abuse and neglect by creating safe, healthy, and permanent homes for children.

At the Ranch, caring staff provide children with support and stability. In addition, Ranch staff help children believe in themselves and teach them to live healthy, fulfilling lives. This commitment extends from the board of trustees to dedicated houseparents.

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 may continue through post-secondary education until they feel socially and financially prepared for independence and/or obtain stable employment.

Since 1976, more than 2,200 boys and girls have experienced life at the Ranch. 

Our History

With the support of Arkansans and county sheriffs, the Ranch began as a mobile home on several acres in Independence County in 1976. One sheriff needed a safe, loving home for two boys living in a neglectful home. After collaborating with other sheriffs, all 75 sheriffs agreed to sign a document expressing support. The Ranch began serving children in need across Arkansas.

Since that time, the Ranch has experienced changes, partnered with various organizations, and faced challenges. The Ranch continues to grow, develop new programs and services, and serve the community.

What began as a safe haven for two boys grew to serve thousands of Arkansas boys and girls. Read more on our history in the Arkansas History Encyclopedia.

Arkansas sheriffs youth ranch

Arkansas Sheriffs’ Support

Arkansas’ county sheriffs have played an important role in the formation and growth of the Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranches. The idea for the Ranch started with a few concerned and disappointed sheriffs. These sheriffs had helped place boys in residential homes providing unsatisfactory care. The sheriffs’ idea grew. Then they shared their vision with the Arkansas Sheriffs’ Association (ASA). They requested support to develop a home for children, relying solely on Arkansans’ generosity.

After researching options, the ASA decided in 1974 to establish a separate, freestanding non-profit organization pending full support of all Arkansas’ 75 county sheriffs. Supporters then traveled to meet with sheriffs, earning approval. Finally, in late 1975, the founders presented an incorporation document with signatures of all 75 sheriffs to the ASA. This was the first and only document of its kind. The Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranches was founded.

The same enthusiasm and passion which established the Ranch more than 40 years ago continues to spread. Whether hosting a golf tournament, recording a PSA, or speaking to local groups, Arkansas county sheriffs support 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 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.