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Arkansas Girl Adopted from Foster Care Says Not All Super Heroes Wear Capes

Date: 10/28/2016

By Keith Metz
DHS Communications Specialist

Most times, when someone asks children who their heroes are, typical replies include a parent, first responders or maybe even an athlete or a movie star. For one girl in Boone County, “hero” means something entirely different.

This is Red Ribbon Week (a national drug prevention campaign), which is celebrated in many schools across the state by holding themed dress up days for faculty, staff and children. Tuesday was “Super Hero” day at 11-year-old Cooper Knoll’s school in northwest Arkansas. Students were encouraged to come dressed as their favorite hero. Cooper didn’t have to think very hard about her choice – her favorite hero is her former DHS Division of Children and Family Services caseworker, Ashley Young.

Cooper was in foster care for more than two years before being adopted by her foster parents in July 2016. Ashley was the caseworker who removed Cooper from her biological mother’s care in 2014, and based on Cooper’s choice for her hero, she made quite a positive impact on young Cooper’s life over her time in foster care. 

“I cannot tell you how honored I was that Cooper considers me as some sort of a hero,” Ashley said. “All we are used to hearing is the negative stories about DCFS, so it was nice to be reminded that we as an agency do make an impact on children, even when we don’t realize it.”

Ashley has worked with DCFS in Arkansas for five years. Cooper is just one of many children who have been positively affected by Ashley’s dedication, compassion and advocacy. 

Here’s to Cooper’s hero – and ours, too! – Ashley Young.

Arkansas Department
of Human Services
(501) 682-1001

TTY: 1-800-285-1131 or dial 711 for Arkansas Relay Service

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