Public-private partnership aims to find forever families for longest-waiting youth
Columbus, Ohio — The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, a national nonprofit public charity, is proud to announce an expansion of its signature program, Wendy’s Wonderful Kids®, to find adoptive homes for children in Nevada’s foster care system. Through a unique public-private partnership with the State of Nevada and The Adoption Exchange, 12 Wendy’s Wonderful Kids adoption professionals will serve youth over the age of nine, children with special needs and siblings who have been waiting in foster care the longest.
“The negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic deepen our understanding of the need for permanency and the everyday safety of family and home,” said Rita Soronen, President & CEO of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. “We are grateful to partner with the state of Nevada and The Adoption Exchange to serve more youth in foster care in Nevada to ensure that no child faces this crisis, or any other, without the stability and support of a forever home.”
Clark County Commissioner Justin Jones shared, “As an adoptive parent myself, I know the joy and love that comes from bringing a child into your family. I encourage anyone who may be interested in adoption to reach out and learn more about this great opportunity to create permanent homes for our older youth in foster care.”
A rigorous, five-year national evaluation revealed that a child referred to the Wendy’s Wonderful Kids program is up to three times more likely to be adopted. Based on this evaluation and a successful pilot of the program, Ohio became the first state to commit to an innovative public-private partnership to expand Wendy’s Wonderful Kids statewide in 2012. In 2017, the Foundation launched a 12-year business plan to fully scale the program across all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Nearing the end of phase one of the plan, statewide expansion is underway in Colorado, Kentucky, Louisiana, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Utah, Washington and now, Nevada. To date, this program has helped to find adoptive homes for more than 9,000 children across the United States, including 146 youth in Nevada.
“The Adoption Exchange is passionate about bringing awareness, advocacy and effective programs to find families for the older youth who are waiting in Nevada’s foster care system through no fault of their own. Every child deserves a family where they can celebrate their successes and where they feel a sense of belonging and safety,” said Jessica Roe, Nevada Director of Programs. “We are grateful to have this partnership with the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption and the state of Nevada to carry out this vital, impactful program.”
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 155,000 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.