The Arkansas Department of Human Services must be reformed to better serve our most vulnerable population — our children! This is why I’m running for state representative. I want to help drive improvements.
This is my commitment to you as your state representative: I will build those relationships and collaborate to find solutions. I will help craft legislation to address the DHS failure to deliver necessary services.
Here are the action items and opportunities that must be on our agenda:
- Increase the number of social workers and improve the pay scale to attract the best.
- Increase training for DHS caseworkers and all who work with children.
- Reform policies and procedures within the state agency and local offices.
- Increase collaboration between DHS and faith-based foster care programs.
You might be asking, “Isn’t this adding cost to our already expensive system?” In some cases, yes. But investing a little now will create success for these kids who fall victim to a failing foster care system. We must do more to firm up the foundation life has dealt them.
Here is why it is worth the investment: Almost 300 kids in Arkansas without a permanent family connection or other support system age out of the foster care system each year. They are left to fend for themselves. Fewer than 10 percent go to college. A staggering number end up in a life of crime and prostitution and become a long-term cost to our state instead of contributing to our economy. For some facts about the current situation of our foster children in Arkansas, visit thecallinarkansas.org/foster-adoption-facts/.
The need is urgent! I don’t know why my opponents are staying so quiet about education and DHS reform, but I won’t. I work with students every single day who need more educators in the Arkansas legislature acting on their behalf. This is why I am running and why I need your vote in the March 1 Republican primary.
Please talk to your friends and family members who vote in District 90 (click here for the map). Please urge them to cast their vote for Jana K. Starr for state representative.