Our Research

Wendy’s Wonderful Kids® Evaluation

The Wendy’s Wonderful Kids Evaluation is an unprecedented five-year study of the Foundation’s Child-Focused Recruitment Model in the U.S. foster care system.

The evaluation represents the most rigorous empirical study of adoption recruitment practices to date, providing much-needed information about practices and policies that improve the likelihood of permanent adoption for children in foster care – especially children with whom the child welfare system has had little success using traditional adoption practices. The control group research showed that children in foster care served by the Wendy’s Wonderful Kids recruitment program are 1.7 times more likely to be adopted than those not served. Older children and those with mental health challenges are 3 times more likely to be adopted when served by Wendy’s Wonderful Kids. The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption’s Wendy’s Wonderful Kids program is the only program in the U.S. to use this Child-Focused Recruitment Model.

The evaluation used automated random assignment of children into treatment (WWK) and control (non-WWK) groups and administrative data from state child welfare agencies about children in the treatment and control groups. It included more than 1,200 children in 23 states. A qualitative study and interviews with parents and youth were also conducted.

Adoption Attitudes Survey

The 2017 National Foster Care Adoption Attitudes Survey was commissioned by the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption to better understand Americans’ attitudes about foster care adoption. The Foundation partnered with Nielsen to survey more than 1,400 American adults online. Similar surveys were conducted in 2012, 2007 and 2002.

In the United States, more than 117,000 children in the foster care system are available for adoption and more than 20,000 age out of the foster care system every year without families. Understanding Americans’ perceptions about adoption is important to finding a safe, loving and permanent family for every child. We are addressing the myths and misconceptions that Americans have about foster care adoption, and by doing so, the Foundation can more effectively move children from foster care to the permanent and nurturing families we promised when they were removed from their biological families.

One of the highlights from the 2017 survey is that 58% of Americans believe all waiting children are adoptable, a 7% increase from the prior survey.

2017 Foster Care Attitudes Survey

Every five years, we measure Americans’ and Canadians’ attitudes about foster care adoption. In 2017, we wanted to know more about attitudes toward foster care as well.

Urban Institute from Awareness to Action: DTFA Philanthropic Strategy

The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption’s philanthropic strategy provides a case study of how the private and public sectors can work together successfully to develop innovative solutions to major social issues.

Download the 2010 Report

 

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