FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Staci Perkins
Senior Director, Marketing & Communications
DAVE THOMAS FOUNDATION FOR ADOPTION’S PANEL OF EXPERTS
RECOMMEND PUBLIC-PRIVATE FUNDING
Initiative to scale child-focused recruitment model to increase foster care adoptions
COLUMBUS, Ohio – A national group of leaders in the areas of philanthropy, child welfare, human services, branding, adoption, health care, media, public affairs, higher education, business and government released recommendations to boost the number of adoptions from foster care in the United States.
The panel was formed by the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption to gain insight from accomplished thought leaders about how to scale its successful child-based recruitment model, Wendy’s Wonderful Kids (WWK). Since its inception in 2004, WWK has helped thousands of children find permanent, loving families.
The panel met in Washington, D.C., and identified recommendations related to funding, communication, and policy that would help the more than 100,000 waiting children in U.S. foster care.
The group believes that the Foundation is uniquely positioned to leverage its voice, credibility, and its evidence-based practices to change the landscape of foster care adoption. But they also understand that the journey will not be easy. They encourage the Foundation to be robust in its communication and outreach efforts to secure the proper resources to scale child-focused recruitment.
Key recommendations include:
- Continue to leverage and expand the successful partnership with The Wendy’s Company;
- Aggressively pursue public funding from federal and state levels;
- Educate child welfare professionals about WWK and the benefits of adoption;
- Expand outreach beyond current stakeholder groups; and
- Develop and implement intensive “road show” campaign targeting top influencers.
“We know WWK works, and now we have confirmation and insight from national leaders about how to significantly expand the model to increase adoptions from foster care,” said Rita Soronen, president and CEO of the Foundation. “We are incredibly grateful to this group of people with brilliant minds and hearts for lending their expertise. We will work tirelessly to pursue these recommendations.”
Members of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption’s Distinguished Panel of Experts include:
Director of Child Welfare and Mental Health
Children’s Defense Fund
Robert W. Block, MD, FAAP
Professor of Pediatrics
University of Oklahoma School of Community Medicine in Tulsa
American Academy of Pediatrics
President & CEO
Director, Family Services and Systems Policy, Research and Communications
The Annie E. Casey Foundation
Kathy Postel Kretman, Ph.D.
Director & Research Professor
Center for Public & Nonprofit Leadership
Senator Mary Landrieu
United States Senate
Rita L. Soronen
President & CEO
Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption
Ann T. Gallagher
Gallagher Consulting Group
About the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption
The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption is a national nonprofit public charity dedicated to dramatically increasing the adoptions of the more than 134,000 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 signature programs, foster care adoption awareness initiatives and research-based advocacy efforts. To learn more, visit davethomasfoundation.org, or call 1-800-ASK-DTFA.