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Arkansas Department of Human Services Names Area Winners for Annual Foster Parents of the Year Awards


(LITTLE ROCK, Ark.) — The Arkansas Department of Human Services (DHS) Division of Children and Family Services (DCFS) has selected ten families to be honored as Arkansas Foster Parents of the Year. These families were chosen from over one hundred nominations from across the state. There is one winning family for each of DCFS’ ten service areas.

DCFS will celebrate these families during a gala in May at the Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts. During the gala, one of the ten winners will be named the statewide Foster Parents of the Year for 2024. The awards have been given annually since 2017 to recognize and honor outstanding foster parents in Arkansas who are committed to the mission of DCFS, which is to keep children safe and strengthen families. 

“Improving our state’s foster care system is one of my administration’s top goals, and nobody plays a bigger role in that than our amazing foster families,” said Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders. “Congratulations to this year’s area winners. By serving Arkansas’ most vulnerable young people, they are truly serving our entire state.”

In addition to the ten area winners, this year we are honoring two additional families. An Early Promise award goes to a new foster family who has already made a significant impact on the child welfare system. This year, a new award called the Perseverance award will be given to a family that has faced a challenge but continued to serve children and youth in foster care without hesitation.

“When children come into foster care because there is a safety threat, we often rely on devoted foster parents around the state to temporarily provide a loving and stable home,” said DCFS Director Tiffany Wright. “We are grateful for the sacrifices these foster parents make to serve children in need, and incredibly proud to celebrate the area winners for their selfless dedication to this important mission.” 

This year’s winners are:

Area 1: Lisa Stockdale (Benton County)
Area 2: Dale and Rebecca Comstock (Sebastian County)
Area 3: Jerry and Tonya Ross (Garland County)
Area 4: Cassandra “Cassie” Thomas (Miller County)
Area 5: Mark and Jessica McNair (Faulkner County)
Area 6: Will and Emma McGrath (Pulaski County)
Area 7: Darran and Casie Williams (Jefferson County)
Area 8: John and Angela Briggs (Randolph County)
Area 9: Joshua and Shianna Cowell (White County)
Area 10: Renella Lee (Phillips County)
Early Promise: Ron and Wanda Day (Faulkner County)
Perseverance: Blake and Bryanna Irvin (Cross County)

For more information on the winning families, visit To learn more about becoming a foster parent or for ways that you can support foster parents, visit  


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