INDIANAPOLIS (Inside INdiana Business) — The state of Indiana will be growing the number of recruiters who help place foster children in permanent, adoptive homes. In a public-private partnership involving the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, the Villages of Indiana, and the Indiana State Department of Child Services, the organizations will fund the hiring and training of two dozen adoption professionals over the next three years.
The Ohio-based Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption was started in 1992 by Wendy’s restaurant founder Dave Thomas, who was an adopted child.
The initiative will focus on recruiting adoptive families for the hardest to place children, such as older or special needs children. Utilizing the Wendy’s Wonderful Kids program, they hope to reduce the number of kids in foster care. According to the organizations, a national evaluation revealed that a child referred to the Wendy’s program is up to three times more likely to be adopted
“Every child, no matter their age, deserves the love of a family. We never want to see children waiting to feel that love and the stability a family provides,” said Shannon Schumacher, president and chief executive officer of The Villages. “Through the generosity of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption and our partnership with DCS, our dynamic team of adoption professionals will have staffing resources across the state to support older children and youth to be adopted.
To date, the Wendy’s Wonderful Kids program has found adoptive homes for more than 10,000 children across the United States, including 160 youth in Indiana. The nonprofit helps pay and train specialized caseworkers to focus on older youth and reduce the number of cases each adoption worker handles.