Public-private partnership will find permanent homes for longest-waiting youth
Published: November 6, 2023
The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption and the state of Alabama announced a partnership late last year that will find permanent, loving homes for the longest-waiting youth in foster care.
This unique public-private partnership will expand the Foundation’s Wendy’s Wonderful Kids® program, which supports the hiring of adoption professionals, known as recruiters, to serve children most at risk of aging out of foster care without additional support services.
Two Wendy’s Wonderful Kids recruiters are already working in Alabama. Now, five additional recruiters will be hired by the state through the program to serve the number of children waiting in the program’s focus population of teenagers, children with special needs and siblings. The state and the Foundation will continue to evaluate the program and could add more recruiters as needed.
A rigorous, five-year national evaluation comparing Wendy’s Wonderful Kids to business-as-usual in child welfare revealed that a child served by the program is up to 3x more likely to be adopted. Based on this evaluation and a successful expansion pilot of the program, Ohio became the first state to scale Wendy’s Wonderful Kids statewide in 2012.
In 2017, the Foundation launched a multi-year business plan to fully scale the program across all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Alabama is joining states that have scaled or are currently scaling, including Colorado, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Utah and Washington.
To date, more than 12,500 children, including 170 youth in Alabama, have been adopted through Wendy’s Wonderful Kids across the United States and Canada.
To learn more, visit davethomasfoundation.org.