A regional organization dedicated to helping children in crisis is expanding to Ashley County.

The CALL in Drew County — a faith-based organization that works with the Department of Children and Family Services — has recently expanded to become The CALL in Southeast Arkansas. The expanded area of the group will include Bradley and Ashley County.

The CALL’s mission is to find and train foster and adoptive families in local churches, and to provide support for those who it recruits. According to the groups Website, approximately 8,200 children are in foster system in Arkansas, but only 1,600 families are available to provide foster care. The CALL looks to remedy that by reaching out to the 5,900 churches in Arkansas and finding people who are willing to take up the task.

“Since the launch of The CALL in Drew County in 2014, our local leadership team has been heartbroken for the children of not just Drew County, but also for all the surrounding counties of Southeast Arkansas,” The CALL’s Drew County Coordinator Deborah West said in a news release.

“For five years, we have prayed earnestly that God would provide more foster homes in each of these counties so that our kids could stay connected to their support systems of churches and schools in their home communities.”

With the expansion into Ashley and Bradley counties, families in those areas are able to attend The CALL’s meetings and learn more about the process of becoming a foster or adoptive parent.

While the organization began its work in the region in Drew County, the process of expanding into neighboring areas began approximately two years ago.

“After countless prayers and many discussions between our local leadership team and The CALL’s statewide office staff, God began to open doors and move in the hearts of the people of Bradley and Ashley Counties,” West said.

“Both families and churches were reaching out to learn more about The CALL.”

West said The CALL wants to connect with local churches and with individuals who are interested more in volunteer opportunities. She can be reached at 870-308-9502 or by email at drewcounty@thecallinarkansas.org.

The organization’s next informational meeting will be in November.

For more information about when and where it will be, follow The Call on Facebook at bit.ly/2kO1LVq.

To learn more about the organization, visit thecallinarkansas.org.

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