Wendy’s Wonderful Kids Professionals Gather at Annual Summit to Collaborate and Celebrate Impact

Posted on April 26, 2024

The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption welcomed more than 600 child welfare professionals to Columbus, Ohio, April 23–25, for the 2024 Wendy’s Wonderful Kids® Summit.  

During this annual event, Wendy’s Wonderful Kids recruiters and supervisors from across the United States and Canada come together to learn, collaborate and celebrate their life-changing impact in service of the longest-waiting children in foster care.

Hear from a few of these professionals about how they are working to achieve permanency for every child … no matter their story.  

This year’s Summit featured renowned child welfare speakers, authors, researchers and practitioners, including Josh Shipp, Dr. Jessica Pryce, David Ambroz and Dr. Sharrica Miller.

The Foundation also recognized recipients of the 2024 Wendy’s Wonderful Kids Recruiter and Supervisor of the Year awards. Scroll to read more about each awardee in the words of their colleagues who nominated them and watch their stories of impact.

Anna, Supervisor (Colorado)

Raise the Future

Anna exudes leadership through humanizing it, collaboration building, accountability to Wendy’s Wonderful Kids standards and being forward thinking for systematic change. She equips each of her team members with the tools needed to succeed. Throughout all of her work, Anna strives to advance equity in child welfare and advocates for all children in her care.

Sandra, Supervisor (Newfoundland, Canada)

The Department of Children, Seniors and Social Development

Sandra has been committed to timely permanency planning for children in foster care since 1991. Known as a “permanency champion” for her exceptional policy knowledge, strong advocacy and supportive management style, she is dedicated to the wellbeing of every child she serves. Sandra extends genuine care while striving to find them a safe, permanent family.

Amy, Recruiter (North Carolina)

Children’s Home Society

Amy’s passion for permanency is evident in how she diligently approaches implementing Foundation’s child-focused recruitment model. She turns over every stone and revisits previous steps when a dead end is encountered. Amy’s bright light shines throughout her work by reframing situations to support anyone who needs it. From attending sibling’s games to grabbing chicken tenders to sitting by a gravesite, she shows up in meaningful ways for her youth to let them know how much she cares.

Cyndi, Recruiter (Georgia)

Bethany Christian Services

Cyndi exudes a feeling of warmth and optimism when she greets you. This feeling extends to the youth she serves, allowing her to create lasting bonds of support for them. Whether it is answering an unexpected phone call or traveling across the country to reunite a youth with their biological mother, Cyndi has pushed past her “recruiter” title by becoming one of the most trusted relationships in their lives.

Tyler, Recruiter (Ohio)

Caring for Kids

Tyler’s passion for his work is contagious! He excels as he diligently searches for connections that could lead to permanent placements for children on his caseload, along with the documentation of all his efforts. Not only does Tyler show up well for children he serves, but he also goes the extra mile as a mentor for new recruiters. Throughout the entire path to permanency, Tyler is there for his youth and families to ensure they feel supported.

To date, Wendy’s Wonderful Kids recruiters have found safe, permanent homes for more than 14,000 children in foster care across the United States and Canada. These professionals are heroes for the work they do every day to make a difference in the life of a child waiting for a family. Thank you!

To learn more about the Wendy’s Wonderful Kids program, visit davethomasfoundation.org/wwk.

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