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 United States. 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 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 recruiters. The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption’s Wendy’s Wonderful Kids program is the only program in the U.S. to use this evidence-based 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.

More information about the results

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. Similar surveys were conducted in 2012, 2007 and 2002.

Understanding Americans’ perceptions about adoption is important to find a safe, loving and permanent home for every child. The Foundation is committed to addressing the myths and misconceptions about foster care adoption so that every child has the forever family they deserve.

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.

Foster Care Attitudes Survey

Every five years, we measure attitudes about foster care adoption in the U.S. and Canada.