Wendy’s Wonderful Kids

Hope For Youth is pleased to be implementing Wendy’s Wonderful Kids, a signature program of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption that is bringing children waiting to be adopted from foster care one step closer to safe, loving and permanent homes.

Through Wendy’s Wonderful Kids, the Foundation provides grants to adoption agencies to hire and train adoption recruiters who implement the Foundation’s evidence-based Child-Focused Recruitment Model. This model is up to three times more effective at serving children who have been in foster care the longest, including older youth, sibling groups and children with special needs.

Hope For Youth currently has 3 Wendy’s Wonderful Kids recruiters who serve Nassau & Suffolk counties. Our Recruiters work with smaller caseloads, ensuring that they can provide these children with the attention, resources and support they need and find the adoptive families they deserve.

We’d like to share with you just a few of our success stories. 

“I utilized the WWK Recruitment Model most memorably with a child who’s grandmother was identified, located and contacted many months ago. At the time the grandmother was not ready to have the child over for visits or otherwise and the match wasn’t made. In an effort to reconnect with all who were contacted previously by way of an extensive search, I reconnected with the paternal grandmother. This time around the grand mother was willing to have the child over for holiday overnight visits. As a result the child and grandmother were matched and continued to have visits, eventually the grandmother agreed to take custody of her grandson.”              ~HFY Adoption Family Recruiter, 2021

“I utilized the Child-Focused Recruitment Model with a youth who had spent many years in foster care and escalated to a residential treatment facility level of care. The recruiter developed a relationship with a prior foster parent who remained a visiting resource for the youth but could not make the move towards adoption. Through assessment of adoption readiness with this youth and dedication to developing the foster parent’s skills, this recruiter encouraged the family to reconsider welcoming the youth back into their home. The youth has always called this resource “Mom” and always saw himself living with her and the rest of the family.  This recruiter communicated with the network of professionals, and  advocated that the youth would benefit, even if it seemed like he needed to be in the institution, from a family. The team approached the prior foster parent to inquire about being an adoptive resource. This resource felt ready and supported, and agreed to welcome him into their home permanently. He moved in August 2020 and is now matched, and in pre-adopt status moving towards adoption in the next few months.              ~HFY Adoption Family Recruiter, 2021

Meet Alan Diaz, a Wendy’s Wonderful Kids Recruiter for HFY. Take a moment to listen to Alan speak to the need for the Wendy’s program and the work done to ensure hard-to-place youth develop a network of resources and eventually a forever home. 

To Learn More: Visit www.davethomasfoundation.org, follow on Facebook and Twitter.