While the world has adapted to living with COVID, the devastating effects of the pandemic on children in foster care and their families will be felt for years to come. This makes the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption’s mission more urgent than ever.
Through all the changes we have experienced, one thing has struck me — the unwavering support of our community. Your commitment has allowed us to realize positive change and serve even more children and youth who are counting on us right now.
With the generosity of supporters like you, we will continue to grow and give ALL children the hope and foundation for a brighter future. Siblings like Jermesha, Floyd and Jermain, who were adopted after spending more than five years in foster care. Since being adopted, the siblings are now thriving with the love and support of a permanent family … together.
Over the last year, we have been dedicated to conducting research alongside partners to better inform our work.
The Foundation is steadfast in our commitment to advocating for policies that promote equitable opportunities for every child in America’s foster care system.
And we have continued to raise awareness and support for foster care adoption through social media, influencer engagement, digital advertising, partnerships, events, public service announcements and more. The Foundation’s work was also featured through TV and radio, podcasts and in publications, such as Forbes, Parents and People magazine.
We have shared stories with you in the past from youth adopted through our Wendy’s Wonderful Kids program, including Dalton and Dawson, Ellie and Tonya. We checked in with their families, and in this year’s annual report, we are excited to update you on how they have grown with the stability of a permanent home.
In 2021, we also began phase two of our Wendy’s Wonderful Kids program expansion. Since then, we have been working to deepen and sustain our impact in phase one scaling states and pursue expansion in at least 10 more states in the near term. To date in phase two, new scaling states include Indiana and Mississippi.
But our mission is far from complete.
Our 2022 U.S. Adoption and Foster Care Attitudes Survey revealed that myths and misperceptions about children in foster care continue to persist. More than half of U.S. adults mistakenly believe that children are placed in foster care because they are juvenile delinquents. This tells us that amplifying our awareness campaigns and engaging supporters to help spread the word is more important than ever. We will continue to move forward helping the children we serve, letting the research inform our direction.
We look forward to engaging even more caring individuals as partners, donors and advocates, to help find forever families for the more than 140,000 children still waiting in foster care across the United States and Canada right now.
I am humbled by our impact together over the last 30 years and am optimistic about our continued growth in the years to come.
Thank you for committing to growing with us.
With deep gratitude and all good wishes,
Rita L. Soronen
President & CEO
This letter was featured in the
Foundation’s 2022 annual report
(July 1, 2021 – June 30, 2022).