Wendy's Wonderful Kids™

Through our signature program, Wendy’s Wonderful Kids, the Foundation supports the hiring of adoption professionals, known as recruiters, who are dedicated to finding permanent families for children in foster care who are most often overlooked. That includes teenagers, children with special needs and siblings.

Wendy’s Wonderful Kids recruiters use an evidence-based, child-focused recruitment model to find the right family for every child. A rigorous, five-year evaluation in the United States revealed that youth referred to the program are up to 3x more likely to be adopted.


While other types of adoption recruitment can be successful, child-focused recruitment has been proven to be the most effective approach to achieving permanency for children in the Foundation’s focus population.

Focused on finding the right family for the child 

Wendy’s Wonderful Kids adoption professionals begin their search within a child’s familiar circles of family, friends and neighbors and then reach out to the communities in which they live.

Respects a child’s voice, privacy and dignity 

Wendy’s Wonderful Kids recruiters are committed to building a trusting relationship with the young people they serve, helping them unpack fears and misconceptions about adoption.

Rooted in the belief that every child is adoptable 

Wendy’s Wonderful Kids recruiters work with smaller caseloads of 12–15 children to ensure that every child receives the time, resources and support they deserve.

Explore research showing the impact of Wendy’s Wonderful Kids and the Foundation’s evidence-based, child-focused recruitment model.

Who We Serve

Of children currently served by the program in Canada:

  • 87% are older than age 8
  • 12% have had six or more placements
  • 32% have been in foster care more than four years
  • 85+% had minimal or no adoption recruitment efforts on their behalf before being referred to Wendy’s Wonderful Kids  

Find a Wendy’s Wonderful Kids partner agency in your area.

Our Goal

  • In 2006, the Foundation expanded the Wendy’s Wonderful Kids program in Canada with the first grant issued in Ontario. We had a singular goal — to focus on permanency for those children and youth most at risk of aging out of the foster care system.
  • In 2016, the Foundation and the Ontario Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services officially launched a commitment to scale Wendy’s Wonderful Kids in Ontario in coordination with the Children’s Aid Societies.
  • Currently, more than 20 Wendy’s Wonderful Kids recruiters are working in seven provinces to find forever families for children waiting in foster care.



To date, Wendy’s Wonderful Kids recruiters have found permanent homes for more than 600 children across Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Newfoundland, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario and Saskatchewan.

The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption-Canada relies on the generosity of donors to continue expanding the Wendy’s Wonderful Kids program to ensure there are enough recruiters to serve youth in our focus population.