The Columbus Dispatch
Nothing is more heartbreaking than a child without a family. So what if someone had a method that would double or even triple the chances of a child finding an adoptive home?
What if this strategy not only could greatly reduce the chances of a young person becoming homeless, going to prison or living in poverty, but also immediately save taxpayers millions of dollars in foster-care payments?
That is exactly what the Columbus-based Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption has accomplished through its Wendy’s Wonderful Kids program. Since 2004, the program has provided local adoption agencies with grants to hire recruiters who zero in on one thing: finding the right family for a child lingering in the foster-care system.
Wendy’s program starts with the premise that the label of “unadoptable” is unacceptable. So instead of sorting through a pool of willing adoptive families and trying to match them with available children, these adoption recruiters really get to know a child, then go looking for the right parents, even those who might not have considered adopting. Yet….
That this approach works is verified by independent research studies and by a new investment of state dollars that is greatly expanding the Wendy’s Wonderful Kids program. Ohio officials last spring announced they would put $2.3 million in state and federal money into the effort. This has allowed the program, which serves 55 of Ohio’s 88 counties, to hire an additional 29 adoption recruiters; it previously had just seven recruiters in the state.
This is a great investment, both for the children and for the taxpayers.