A Place Of Hope And Healing

Since its inception in 1976, the Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranch has provided children a place to call home. Children who come to the Ranch often come 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. Children learn 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.

At the Ranch, caring staff surround children who need support and stability. The Ranch commits to help children believe in themselves and teach them to live healthy, fulfilling lives. This commitment extends from its board of trustees to its 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 can stay through post-secondary education until they feel socially and financially prepared for independence and/or obtain stable employment. More than 2,100 boys and girls have experienced life at the Ranch. For children in need, 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. One sheriff needed a safe, loving home for two boys living in a neglectful home. After much collaboration between sheriffs, all 75 sheriffs agreed to support the Ranch. They signed a document expressing support, and the Ranch began serving children in need across the state.

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

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

Arkansas sheriffs youth ranch

The Sheriffs’ Support

Arkansas’ county sheriffs have played an important role throughout the Ranch’s history and continue to today. 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; they shared their vision with the Arkansas Sheriffs’ Association (ASA). They asked for support to develop a home for children, relying solely on  Arkansans’ generosity.

After conducting research, the ASA decided in 1974 to establish a separate, freestanding non-profit organization pending full support of all Arkansas’ 75 county sheriffs. Supporters traveled to every county to meet with sheriffs, earning approval. 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 that helped establish 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 express commitment 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.