ARKANSAS (KNWA/KFTA) — “Every day counts until we see zero kids waiting,” Tiphanie Gurwell said.

Gurwell is the Northwest Arkansas Outreach Coordinator for Project Zero.

She said Project Zero’s mission is to, “find a family for every waiting child in the foster care system whose parental rights have been terminated.”

At the time this article was published, there were almost 5,000 kids and teens living in Arkansas’ foster care system, 349 of whom are eligible for adoption.

“We still have 349 waiting kids. We still need 349 families to adopt those waiting kids,” Gurwell said.

In an effort to find homes for each and every foster child who needs one, Project Zero has partnered with the Arkansas Division of Children and Family Services to launch the Every Day Counts campaign.

“Whenever you look at the responsibilities of the state of Arkansas, there’s not a higher responsibility then… our foster children,” Governor Asa Hutchinson said.

Through billboards, yard signs and weekly Facebook posts, the awareness initiative will highlight the need for more Arkansans to become foster parents.

“The statistics show that if a child ages out of foster care they’re more likely to go to jail, they’re more likely to end up homeless. When a child ages out of foster care, they’re aging out with nobody,” said Gurwell.

The ultimate goal is to get the faces of foster children in front of anyone in Arkansas who might be willing to give them a shot.

“Every day that a child spends in foster care is a day that is too long,” Gov. Hutchinson continued, “we’re asking families across Arkansas to take a look at themselves as to how they could be helpful to adopt children who, through no fault of their own, don’t have a permanent home.”

The Every Day Counts campaign runs through the end of 2021.