Press Release -The Contingent Arkansas Awarded Federal Grant to Serve Kids and Families in North Little Rock, Arkansas

The Contingent will serve McAlmont, Pike, and Rose City Neighborhoods with a prevention focus.

Little Rock, AR – The Contingent Arkansas is proud to announce a Federal grant award in support of the North Little Rock Thriving Families Initiative, a community-driven effort to address the challenges faced by families navigating multiple community/government systems. This initiative aims to develop preventive strategies and provide comprehensive support to families in the McAlmont, Pike, and Rose City neighborhoods, where children often experience higher rates poverty, neglect and are at higher risk of both entering foster care and for longer periods of time. Its core objective is to strengthen families, preserve children’s home environments whenever possible, and prioritize their well-being by collaborating with extended family and fictive kin, emphasizing crucial connections to their lives.  

Supported by an initial award of $500,000 from the Administration for Children and Families, one of the cornerstones of this initiative is the establishment of strong partnerships and communication channels among community organizations, which include the Community-Based Prevention Network, Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation, and the newly established Parent Warrior Circle. This Parent Circle is comprised of parents from Pulaski County who have firsthand experience with the child welfare system, adding a valuable perspective to the initiative’s efforts. Additionally, key stakeholders and community leaders committed to driving positive change have expressed high interest in this positive, comprehensive effort.    

The initiative will enlist various community members to help shape and achieve its goals. This approach empowers community members to take the lead in developing solutions that enhance the safety, permanency, and well-being of children. Jerome Strickland, Executive Director for The Contingent Arkansas, shares “This grant will strengthen the fabric of the McAlmont, Pike, and Rose City neighborhoods by empowering community members to develop neighborhood solutions to care for children and families. It’s critical that we first listen to families with lived experience and then respond to their convictions, via program design, as the community determines what’s needed to keep kids safely with their families.”  

The expected long-term outcomes of this initiative include:  
  • Establishing systems to connect eligible children and families with prevention services.  
  • Encouraging meaningful community collaboration and coordination. 
  • Gaining widespread consensus among stakeholders on innovative strategies to reduce the number of children entering foster care.  
  • Providing regular annual reports to assess the fidelity of plans.  
  • Using evaluation results to drive continuous quality improvement and progressively improve community’s perception.  

To achieve these outcomes, the initiative will have three key focus areas: developing leaders to build the capabilities for sustainable community building, changing perceptions through community building and education, and reconnecting and strengthening family connections with supportive community members and services.  

The North Little Rock Thriving Families Initiative is committed to fostering positive change in the community around children and families, promoting family well-being, and ensuring the safety and permanency of children in the community through the support of strong partnerships, community engagement, and collaboration.  

About The Contingent  

The Contingent is a venture nonprofit focused on sparking and holding initiatives to empower leaders and mobilize community for the common good. Whether it is through mobilizing volunteers, raising up foster families, or galvanizing community resources, we are witnessing an unprecedented contingent of Arkansans committed to do hard things.  

For more information, contact:  

Jerome Strickland, Executive Director, 501-274-0722 , [email protected]