UAMS to Transfer Arkansas CARES to Methodist Children’s Home

By todd

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas CARES, a successful residential substance abuse treatment program for mothers, will be transferred Jan. 1, 2007, from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) to the Methodist Children’s Home.


The award-winning Arkansas CARES (Center for Addictions Research, Education, and Services) program, started as a division of the UAMS Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology in 1992. It later became a part of the UAMS Department of Psychiatry.


Arkansas CARES will remain at its Little Rock location, which is owned by Methodist Children’s Home. Under the ownership of Methodist Children’s Home, Arkansas CARES will continue to provide a family-centered approach to decrease maternal substance abuse and promote healthy family outcomes through prevention, treatment, education, research and advocacy.


“UAMS started Arkansas CARES to address a community need and are proud that it has grown into such an effective program,” said G. Richard Smith, M.D., Marie Wilson Howells Professor and Chair of the Department of Psychiatry in the UAMS College of Medicine. “The Arkansas CARES residential program has been housed at the Methodist Children’s Home for several years now. The formal transfer of the program will be seamless and will not affect services offered. Arkansas CARES is an exceptional program that will further enhance the mission of the Methodist Children’s Home, which already provides residential services for mothers and their children.”


Arkansas CARES is a four-to-six month program where the women learn not only how to overcome their addictions and stay sober, but parenting, relationship, family, communication and job skills. About 80 percent of the women who completed the Arkansas CARES program were drug free a year later.


“Arkansas CARES is an outstanding program that complements our services for helping children and families in a residential setting,” said Andy Altom, chief executive officer of Methodist Children’s Home. “UAMS will continue to be a partner in our programs and we anticipate a smooth transition for Arkansas CARES.”


Arkansas CARES employs about 75 people, who will be eligible for positions with the program through the Methodist Children’s Home. UAMS also will provide assistance for employees who want to pursue other positions within the Department of Psychiatry or other UAMS departments.


In 2002, Arkansas CARES was recognized by the American Psychiatric Association for its innovative treatment approach. Most women served by Arkansas CARES enter the program either pregnant or with young children, single, poor, unemployed, with health problems and legal difficulties ranging from child protection cases to drug-related arrests.


Arkansas CARES is licensed as a substance abuse treatment center, mental health provider for children and adults, childcare center for infants through age 12, and provider of early intervention services.


The Methodist Children’s Home was established in 1899 by the Arkansas Conference of the United Methodist Church. Then called the Arkansas Methodist Orphanage, the program cared for orphans and other dependent children in need. The agency grew into a comprehensive residential treatment facility with youth group homes throughout Arkansas.


In September 2001, Methodist Children’s Home founded a subsidiary corporation in Maumelle: United Methodist Behavioral Hospital, Inc. These two entities joined in 2003 to form Methodist Family Health, which provides comprehensive behavioral health care services to children and families of Arkansas through services that include psychiatric residential treatment, foster care, emergency shelter, therapeutic day treatment school, counseling clinics and school-based counseling services.


The UAMS Department of Psychiatry provides clinical services at the Methodist Behavioral Hospital site in Maumelle.


UAMS is the state’s only comprehensive academic health center, with five colleges, a graduate school, a medical center, six centers of excellence and a statewide network of regional centers. UAMS has about 2,430 students and 715 medical residents. It is one of the state’s largest public employers with about 9,400 employees, including nearly 1,000 physicians who provide medical care to patients at UAMS, Arkansas Children’s Hospital, the VA Medical Center and UAMS’ Area Health Education Centers throughout the state. UAMS and its affiliates have an economic impact in Arkansas of $4.5 billion a year. For more information, visit