In recognition of Foster Care Awareness Month, organizations and entities that serve Drew County children in foster care will host an event on the Monticello town square on May 1 at 10 a.m. to increase foster care awareness.

At the May 1 “proclamation event” Sen. Eddie Cheatham will speak on behalf of Drew County Judge Robert Akin who has proclaimed the month of May as Foster Care Awareness month in Drew County. Monticello Mayor Paige Chase will also proclaimed the month as Foster Care Awareness month in Monticello. Other guest speakers include Rep. LeAnne Burch and Rev. Alford Branch.

An average of 37 Drew County children are in foster care each month with only six open homes to care for those children. Due to the lack of available foster care homes in Drew County, more than half of the children are sent out of the county, losing their local support systems such as family, friends, school and church.

The Arkansas Baptist Children’s Homes & Family Ministries and Vera Lloyd Presbyterian Family Services have created a display representing the number of Drew County children in foster care last year and the number for each month. This unique art collaboration will be displayed on the Monticello town square throughout the month of May.

The event is hosted by the Arkansas Baptist Children’s Homes & Family Ministries, Arkansas Department of Human Services/Division of Children & Family Services, Children’s Advocacy Center of Southeast Arkansas, Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) for Children, Families in Need of Services (FINS) 10th Judicial District Circuit Court, The CALL in Drew County, and Vera Lloyd Presbyterian Family Services.

The public is invited to attend the proclamation event, see the art display, and visit the partner organizations’ tables to learn about additional foster care awareness and fundraising events throughout the month of May.