By bringing the local community together and creating a network of churches, businesses, and individuals, Arkansas Family Alliance supports children and families in crisis. From biological families to foster and adoptive families to foster youth transitioning to adulthood, AFA supports families and children along the entire spectrum of child welfare. Do South® talked to Executive Director Matt Whitson about their mission.
DS: Your non-profit is brand new. How did you know the state needed AFA?
Matt: I co-founded AFA with my wife, Becca. Our passion started in our own family; we adopted three of our four children through very different circumstances. However, the more we learned about the needs in Arkansas, the more we realized we had to do more. We decided to leverage our skills, knowledge, and experiences to impact this community. Children and families are in crisis all around us, and together we have the power to make a huge impact.
DS: Your first task is to bring CarePortal to Arkansas. Can you talk about that?
Matt: CarePortal creates a platform to connect churches and child welfare agencies to address the needs of local hurting children and families. This innovative technology uses a geographically-based email system that strategically addresses all areas of child welfare. These areas include helping prevent children from entering state care, foster care, adoption, and foster youth aging out of the system. We are excited to launch May 3, 2018.
DS: How will you work with churches in Arkansas?
Matt: Churches want to help, but the child welfare statistics can be paralyzing. We are offering churches an opportunity to be directly connected with the needs in their community, allowing them to be the hands and feet of Jesus in their own backyard.
DS: How can Do South® readers help?
Matt: This is a community issue, and we work with churches, businesses, and individuals. If readers want to help, they can talk to their pastors and/or small groups about getting their church involved. Individuals and businesses can partner with us financially as we launch CarePortal, continue foster/adoptive parent trainings, and expand the community’s impact on vulnerable children and families.
DS: Is there anything else you’d like to share?
Matt: At AFA, our mission is to unite communities to support children and families in crisis. Many nonprofits, churches, and businesses are already working to help make a difference, and we’re excited to partner with them. We look forward to seeing others come alongside us in this fight as well. When it comes to helping vulnerable children and families, it truly does take a village.
Arkansas Family Alliance
2917 Old Greenwood Road, Suite 4
Fort Smith, AR 72903
Next month, we’ll showcase another worthy charity in our area. If you have a non-profit you’d like to see recognized, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.