Columbus, Ohio — The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, a national nonprofit public charity, is proud to announce that more than 500 children have been adopted from foster care in North Carolina through its signature program, Wendy’s Wonderful Kids®, in partnership with Children’s Home Society of North Carolina.
Through Wendy’s Wonderful Kids, the Foundation provides funding and establishes innovative co-investment partnerships with states to hire adoption professionals, called recruiters, who implement an evidence-based, child-focused recruitment model. A rigorous, five-year national evaluation by Washington, D.C.-based Child Trends revealed that the model is up to three times more effective at finding permanent homes for youth in foster care who are often overlooked, including teenagers, children with special needs and siblings.
In 2017, the Foundation launched an aggressive 12-year business plan to expand Wendy’s Wonderful Kids in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. North Carolina was one of the first states to fully scale the program, increasing the number of Wendy’s Wonderful Kids recruiters from 13 to 42 statewide to serve children in our focus population. These recruiters work with smaller caseloads of children, nearly 90% of whom are over the age of 8, and nearly one-third of whom have had six or more placements in foster care before being referred to the program.
“Today, we recognize the unwavering dedication of Children’s Home Society of North Carolina and Wendy’s Wonderful Kids recruiters and celebrate that 500 more youth have the comfort and security of a loving, forever family,” said Rita Soronen, President & CEO of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. “Our collaborative efforts to keep adoptions moving virtually during the pandemic have never been more important.”
“Children’s Home Society is grateful to have been a part of more than 500 youth connecting with their forever families,” said Rebecca Starnes, Children’s Home Society Vice President. “Every child deserves a permanent, safe and loving family. Through this work, we are able to help make that happen for more youth.”
Tonya is one of the more than 500 young people who now have a loving, forever home thanks to the Wendy’s Wonderful Kids program in North Carolina. After spending six long years in foster care, Tonya was adopted at age 12 with support from her Wendy’s Wonderful Kids recruiter, Tiffany. “I am happy that I have a family that actually wants me and loves me as much as I love them,” she shared.
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 150,000 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 innovative grantmaking. To learn more, visit davethomasfoundation.org.