Wendy's Wonderful Kids®
Through our signature program, Wendy’s Wonderful Kids, the Foundation supports the hiring of adoption professionals, known as recruiters, who are dedicated to finding permanent families for children in foster care who are most often overlooked. That includes teenagers, children with special needs and siblings.
Wendy’s Wonderful Kids recruiters use an evidence-based, child-focused recruitment model to find the right family for every child. A rigorous, five-year national evaluation revealed that youth referred to the program are up to 3x more likely to be adopted.
Child-Focused Recruitment Model
Wendy’s Wonderful Kids recruiters work with smaller caseloads of 12-15 children to ensure that each child receives the time, resources and support they deserve. They begin their search within a child’s familiar circles of family, friends and neighbors and then reach out to the communities in which they live. Of youth served by the program:
- 89% are older than age 8
- 35% have had six or more placements
- 22% have been in foster care more than four years
- 80+% had minimal or no adoption recruitment efforts on their behalf before being referred to Wendy’s Wonderful Kids
Explore research showing the impact of Wendy’s Wonderful Kids and the Foundation’s evidence-based, child-focused recruitment model.
- In 2004, the Foundation began piloting the program in seven cities. Based upon the impact of this model, the state of Ohio committed to an innovative public/private partnership to scale Wendy’s Wonderful Kids statewide in 2012.
- In 2017, the Foundation launched an aggressive, multi-year business plan to expand the reach of Wendy’s Wonderful Kids in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.
- In phase one of this plan (2017-2020), the program expanded statewide in Colorado, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, New York, Nevada, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Utah and Washington, while continuing to support the hiring of more adoption recruiters and build momentum across the nation.
- In phase two (2021-2026), the Foundation is working to deepen and sustain our impact in the first 11 scaling states and pursue expansion of Wendy’s Wonderful Kids in at least 10 more states, ensuring that there are enough recruiters to serve the number of youth in our focus population.