Video: 100 Families Initiative 5 Years Later

Law Enforcement Officials and Service Providers Look Back on the Progress of the 100 Families Initiative in Sebastian County

An initiative known as 100 Families that began five years ago to reduce Arkansas’s high incarceration and foster care rates in Sebastian County is showing tremendous progress.

Sebastian County was the first county to be a part of the 100 Families initiative, which launched in 2018. The county was chosen for the initiative because of the high incarceration rate and the highest number of children in foster care in the state. Today, Sebastian County has seen a 50% decrease in the need for foster care and the city of Fort Smith has seen a 20% reduction in crime. 

The model for the 100 Families initiative was created by the non-profit Restore Hope, which works to reduce incarceration rates and the need for foster care. A key component of the initiative is software, called HopeHub, that was developed to allow service providers who are helping families in crisis to effectively communicate with one another and serve an individual holistically. 

 “It’s the community that has taken this model and is doing all the hard work,” said Restore Hope Executive Director Paul Chapman. “Service providers in Sebastian County have worked diligently to come together and use HopeHub to help people in crisis. They are connecting with one another to serve an individual who is in need in many areas, from housing to transportation to childcare to therapy.”

Smart Justice is a magazine, podcast, and continuing news coverage from the nonprofit Restore Hope and covers the pursuit of better outcomes on justice system-related issues, such as child welfare, incarceration, and juvenile justice. Our coverage is solutions-oriented, focusing on the innovative ways in which communities are solving issues and the lessons that have been learned as a result of successes and challenges. 

The podcast is available on all major podcasting platforms.

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