Arkansas Children

Workgroups organized by AFMC are trying to combat adverse childhood experiences.
Creative Commons

A recent study published by Child Trends found that 56 percent of children in Arkansas have had at least one adverse childhood experience, or ACE, compared to the national average of 45 percent. That's the highest of any state in the nation. An ACE is defined as a "potentially traumatic event, ranging from abuse and neglect to living with an adult with a mental illness. They can have negative, lasting effects on health and well-being in childhood or later in life."

Image of an upset child.
Creative Commons

A new study published by Child Trends says children in Arkansas are more likely to go through an adverse childhood experience (ACE) than all other states. The non-profit organization says such an experience can include children’s parents who divorce, parental incarceration, and living with an adult battling substance abuse. The group says it aims to improve the lives and prospects of children and their families. 

While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ranked Arkansas the most obese state in the nation in 2014, the state’s weight epidemic is now leveling off, and health officials hope obesity rates will start to go down.

Morgan Nick
Wikipedia

Authorities are searching an eastern Oklahoma property that was searched years ago in connection with the 1995 disappearance of a 6-year-old Arkansas girl.

Investigators aren't saying whether this week's search is connected to the unsolved abduction of Morgan Nick, for whom Arkansas' missing-child alert system is named.

The search is taking place in Spiro, Oklahoma, about 25 miles southwest of the Arkansas town of Alma where Morgan was last seen at a baseball field. Investigators say Morgan was abducted from a Little League game as she chased fireflies with friends.

A group of teens play volleyball during recess at a youth lockup facility in Harrisburg in Northeast Arkansas. They are in custody for doing things like breaking and entering, possessing a firearm, or stealing a car, and they will be there anywhere from a few months to a couple of years.

One Heart Playground
Jeff Caplinger / City of North Little Rock

A specially designed playground for children with varying degrees of physical impairments is to open Thursday at North Little Rock’s Burns Park. The One Heart Playground will also accommodate adults with disabilities who want to be with children as they play.

A grand opening is set for 2 p.m. at the playground, which is near the Funland Amusement Park and the rocket slide. But the cost of the project ended up being more than had been originally anticipated.

Department of Human Services Director Cindy Gillespie and shows a progress chart to reporters alongside Division of Children and Family Services Director Mischa Martin.
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

A year after Arkansas reached an alarming record in the number of children in foster care – and the governor said the system was in crisis – the state’s top child welfare officials say significant improvements have been made. But in a meeting with reporters Wednesday, they acknowledged there’s still much more work to be done.

Daniel Breen / KUAR News

Visitors to Little Rock's Central High School will now have a way to explore the school’s historic past. An app developed by the Central High Civil Rights Memory Project in partnership with the Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub, uses first-person accounts to narrate a walking tour of the school.

George West taught civics at Central High, and now serves as education outreach coordinator at the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies. He has seen firsthand the impact the project has had on students.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson holds up an action plan from the Department of Human Services. DHS Director Cindy Gillespie stands to the side.
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

Governor Asa Hutchinson is once again opening up Arkansas’s youth treatment centers to private operators. The state’s residential facilities for children in the juvenile justice system had long been operated privately but the state took over operations in January following a legislative impasse over bidders.

The state begins the bidding process again in December. Department of Human Services - Division of Youth Services Director Betty Guhman said the state’s made improvements while at the helm that they want carried over by private operators.

Pulaski County Judge Wendell Griffen
PBS

The Arkansas Parole Board is halting action under the state's new law that eliminates mandatory life-without-parole sentences for juveniles after a judge said it's unconstitutional.

Pages