By Derek Brown, Ph.D., LPC

Executive Director, Arkansas Baptist Children & Family Ministries

A fresh look at child welfare

By Derek Brown, Ph.D., LPC

Executive Director, Arkansas Baptist Children & Family Ministries

With all of the road construction around the state, I am among many Arkansas drivers on the road each day with a broken windshield. I fully intend to get it fixed one day soon, but it never seems to make the priority list. When the crack first started spreading, it was hard to overlook. Even though it didn’t directly affect my line of sight, I couldn’t help but notice the growing problem. As the days progressed, I became less worried about the crack. After all, won’t it just happen again as soon as I get it repaired? Honestly, it did not take long for me to ignore the crack altogether. Occasionally, I am reminded that I really need to make it a priority, but then life happens again, and another day goes by.  

  We all struggle with the cracked windshield effect in various ways. There are perpetual problems in our everyday lives that we have learned to ignore. Some of these cracks are personal and some are occurring in the lives of those around us. Though right in front of us, we have trained ourselves to look past the cracks in the windshield. Otherwise, it would be hard to get where we are going. I believe one of the cracks we have learned to ignore is the foster care system. If there was a young child on your doorstep with no place to go, you would stop everything else to help that child find a safe caregiver, or perhaps care for that child yourself until family was able to step back in. If possible, you would ensure the family had the resources and support system needed to care for the child long-term.  

  I am so thankful for the many Arkansans who decided to take notice of this concern that is right in front of us. These families, compelled by the Gospel, have recognized that children in foster care can no longer be ignored or fade into the background as a faceless statistic. Because of these families who dared greatly in 2022, over 50,000 nights of care were provided for foster children through Connected Foster Care and Adoptions! Each of those nights represents a real child with a face and a name sleeping safely in a real bed with a real family who loved with Gospel-centered selflessness and offered real hope.  

  I believe we can multiply that impact in 2023. There is no field in Arkansas more ripe for harvest than the foster care system. Are you one of the workers called to this field? Can we partner with your church to create a Christ-centered comprehensive foster care and adoption ministry for your community? Foster care isn’t just a good thing, it is a God thing and a new look at this mission field could bring the renewal your church is missing. Will you take a fresh look at the children who need your church the most and respond with the purest expression of faith the church could offer? Go to to get started today.  

Share this article


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to the
ABN eMagazine

Sign up to receive the ABN Digital News Magazine in your email inbox. New issues arrive every other Thursday.

Copyright © 2023 Arkansas Baptist News