Close this search box.

News Feed

Stay informed on the latest News.

Cross County couple honored with Perseverance Award at annual Foster Parents of the Year gala


LITTLE ROCK – A Cross County couple who continued serving as foster parents even after a tornado damaged their home last year have been named the first recipients of the Foster Parents of the Year Perseverance Award, the Arkansas Department of Human Services (DHS) Division of Children and Family Services (DCFS) announced.

Blake and Bryanna Irvin were recently honored with the inaugural award at a gala event in Little Rock where foster families from around the state were recognized as Foster Parents of the Year for their respective areas.

Blake, an Arkansas State Trooper, and Bryanna, a Qualified Behavioral Health Provider trainer for a local counseling provider, live in Wynne, and their home was one of many structures that experienced significant damage during the March 31, 2023, tornado.

No one would have blamed Blake and Bryanna for pausing their life as foster parents while they processed the trauma and upheaval of that terrible day. But that didn’t happen.

“They knew that the kids they were fostering desperately needed to feel safe, stable, and loved, regardless of the situation,” said DCFS Director Tiffany Wright. “So, they found a way to carry on amid all the chaos and continue serving as foster parents. Blake and Bryanna showed their kids – and all of us – what it means to step up and do whatever it takes for those who need us. In other words, they persevered, and we are so proud of them for their dedication and devotion to fostering.”

Blake and Bryanna said fostering is a calling, and it was important to provide stability during a tumultuous time.

“Fostering is ingrained in who we are,” Bryanna said. “And so it wasn’t a question of disruption. It was, ‘this is who we are, this is what we do.’ Now we’re just going to do it somewhere else while we figure out our house stuff.”

“This past year has just reassured us that we’re truly doing what we felt that the Lord has called us to do, and that’s to be a foster family,” Blake said. “Regardless of the mess that’s going on outside of our home, we still want to continue that mission that we felt called to do, and we’ve never wavered from that idea or even doubted that this is what we’re supposed to be doing.”

More information about the Irvins is available in this short video, which was shown at the gala event.

Also at the ceremony, Lisa Stockdale of Bentonville was named the statewide Foster Parent of the Year, and Ron and Wanda Day of Conway were honored as the Early Promise Award winners. The Early Promise Award is presented to new foster families who have already made an impact on the foster care system in Arkansas.

For more information about the Foster Parents of the Year Awards, visit To learn about becoming a foster parent in Arkansas, visit

Share this post