Hundreds of adoption professionals convene in Columbus for annual summit
May 15, 2012
COLUMBUS, OH – The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption will welcome hundreds of adoption professionals to Columbus for its annual Wendy’s Wonderful Kids Summit. The two-day event begins on Wednesday, May 16, at the Hilton at Easton.
Wendy’s Wonderful Kids (WWK), a signature program of the Foundation, awards grants to public and private adoption agencies to hire professionals who execute child-focused recruitment programs targeted exclusively on moving the longest waiting children from foster care into adoptive families. There are more than 107,000 children in America and 30,000 in Canada waiting to be adopted from foster care.
This is the first convening of Wendy’s Wonderful Kids recruiters since the Foundation released the results last fall of a five-year research study on the program. The evaluation by Washington, D.C.-based Child Trends showed that children in the child-focused WWK program are up to three times more likely to get adopted, especially children with special needs, children who are older, and children in sibling groups.
“We are so proud of this program and the recruiters who are focused and unwavering in the pursuit to find families for children in foster care,” said Rita Soronen, Foundation president and CEO. “Like us, they believe that every child is adoptable, no matter their race, ethnicity, mental or physical impairments, or sexual orientation. And these recruiters are advocates for the children who the system may have previously called unadoptable. We believe that unadoptable is unacceptable. Period.”
The Summit will bring together recruiters from across the U.S. and Canada to assure the implementation of the most effective child-focused adoption recruitment techniques.
Slated to speak at the Summit are Soronen; Denny Lynch, Senior Vice President of Communications at The Wendy’s Company; Ohio Supreme Court Justice Yvette McGee Brown; Ellen Kahn, Director of the Human Rights Campaign Family Project; Dr. Wayne Duehn, authority and educator in the intervention and treatment of sexually abused children; Arleta James, author and adoption professional; Gina Miranda Samuels, assistant professor at University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration; Darla Henry, social worker, trainer, teacher and consultant; and Deborah Jiang Stein, author of Even Tough Girls Wear Tutus: Inside the World of a Woman Born in Prison.
The Foundation launched the Wendy’s Wonderful Kids program with seven pilot sites in 2004, and has expanded it to 127 recruiters finding families for more than 3,000 children in foster care throughout North America. For more information, visit davethomasfoundation.org.
About the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption
The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption is a national nonprofit public charity dedicated exclusively to finding permanent homes for the more than 137,000 children waiting in North America’s foster care systems. Created by Wendy’s® founder Dave Thomas who was adopted, the Foundation implements evidence-based, results-driven national service programs, foster care adoption awareness campaigns and advocacy initiatives. To learn more, visit davethomasfoundation.org or call 1-800-ASK-DTFA.
About Wendy’s Wonderful Kids (A signature program of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption)
Wendy’s Wonderful Kids is making a difference for thousands of children – one child at a time. The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption awards grants to public and private adoption agencies to hire adoption professionals who implement proactive, child-focused recruitment programs targeted exclusively on moving America’s longest-waiting children from foster care into adoptive families. For more information, go to wendyswonderfulkids.org.