How We Help
The Northwest Arkansas Children’s Shelter is a private, non-profit organization that provides 24-hour residential, emergency triage care for children throughout Arkansas who are victims of abandonment, abuse or neglect. Our mission is to provide these children in crisis with a safe haven, high-quality care and hope for the future.
We will recognize and meet the needs of children with respect, sensitivity and unconditional love.
We will set the standards for high-quality service to children by performing above the expected.
We will strive with our words and actions to be worthy of the trust placed in us.
In the late 1980s, Juvenile Court Judge Terry Crabtree learned that Benton County children were sleeping overnight in DHS offices because there was a shortage of foster homes in Northwest Arkansas.
He rallied a group of community leaders to the cause, and the Northwest Arkansas Children’s Shelter was incorporated in July 1991. Through an outpouring of community support, including hundreds of volunteer hours, the funds were raised to hire a staff and secure a location. The Northwest Arkansas Children’s Shelter officially opened its doors on December 6, 1993, with five girls in residence.
Throughout our 29 year history, we have served more than 12,000 children in need of a safe haven and loving care – providing each of them hope for a brighter future.
Take a Tour
Enjoy this tour of our campus! Children come to us from across the state of Arkansas. If it’s their first stay with us, they don’t know what to expect. We designed this video to give them a quick tour of our campus so they know that they’re coming to a safe, caring, fun place.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does Northwest Arkansas Children’s Shelter only serve kids from Northwest Arkansas?
In spite of its geographically specific name, Northwest Arkansas Children’s Shelter serves children from throughout the state of Arkansas. The majority of its residents come from Benton, Washington, Carroll and Madison counties, but many come from the River Valley and Central Arkansas, as well.
How many children can Northwest Arkansas Children’s Shelter accommodate?
Northwest Arkansas Children’s Shelter currently has a total 32 beds, divided into three residence wings. Residence wings are defined by age and gender.
Why and how are children placed at Northwest Arkansas Children’s Shelter?
The overwhelming majority of Northwest Arkansas Children’s Shelter residents are placed there by the Arkansas Department of Human Services’ (DHS) Division of Children & Family Services (DCFS), in response to a report or allegation of child abuse or neglect or an intervention by law enforcement. A few children are placed by their foster families for “respite care.” An example of respite care would be a situation in which a foster family has a need to travel out-of-state during a time when the child has a scheduled court appearance, etc. The three major incident/report types that result in a child coming to the Children’s Shelter break down roughly as follows:
- Neglect – 80 percent
- Physical abuse – 15 percent
- Sexual abuse – 5 percent