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A Place to Call Home: 11-year-old hoping for a forever home | News

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A Place to Call Home: 11-year-old hoping for a forever home

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - Children end up in state foster care for any number of reasons, including abuse, neglect, or a parent's inability to care for them.

The kids we feature through our partnership with the Arkansas Department of Human Services were never able to return to their birth families and their parents' rights were terminated.

This week, we meet Alex, a young man who's fighting to put his past behind him, aiming for a better tomorrow.

There are kicks, tricks, knee pads, and the soccer ball.

"They wanted you to have your own soccer ball, this is yours to keep," said THV's Dawn Scott as she presented Alex with his very first ball.

"Awesome," said Alex.

And he is up for the challenge.

Soccer coach Jason Gillen donates his time to run the drills.

"Put that toe down, I don't wanna hear the ball," Gillen orders.

This child has wanted one thing all his life: just to kick the ball.

"I wanna be a World Cup champion," he said. "Play soccer and have fun with my family."

Problem is, he doesn't have a family to play with. Can't even play on a team because of the number of foster homes he's been shuffled through.

"No it's 120," he said.

Not quite 120, but his family services supervisor Lacey McKay agrees, too many homes during the three years he's been in state care.

"He has been in 14 different placements during that time, he's been stable for the past 14 months and making lots of progress," McKay shared.

"Every day I cry thinking about my mom and my dad," Alex said.

"It absolutely breaks my heart, he's had a very hard life," said McKay.


But this day he gets a moment to forget all that - the heartache, the abuse. And instead gets a moment to live a dream and be a child.

"It's exciting," he shares.

"He's very full of energy, very polite, he wants to please, he just wants to be part of and be loved," said McKay.

"I'm a good kid," Alex said.

"I'm hoping there's some family that will see him and say that's our son and want to make him part of their family as much as he wants to be part of their family," McKay said.

Big thanks to Jason Gillen and his Go 2 Goal soccer arena for his time, attention, and gear he gave Alex. Also, thanks to Sportstop for donating the soccer ball.

If you want more information about Alex or any of the children in state care, click here.

An additional note, DHS is looking at the types of child maltreatment and its consequences at the annual Arkansas Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect on September 11th at the Embassy Suites in Little Rock.