Catholic Social Services is pleased to be implementing Wendy’s Wonderful Kids, a signature program of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. It 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.

Catholic Social Services currently has one Wendy’s Wonderful Kids recruiter who serves the Anchorage and Mat-Su area. Our recruiter works with a smaller caseload, ensuring that she can provide these children with the attention, resources, and support they need and find the adoptive families they deserve.

Please feel free to contact our Wendy’s Wonderful Kids Recruiter:

Angela Perry Carter
Wendy’s Wonderful Kids Recruiter
aperrycarter@cssalaska.org

To learn more, visit www.davethomasfoundation.org, subscribe to the Foundation’s newsletter, and follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

Program Success To Date

Wendy’s Wonderful Kids has 400+ recruiters nationwide and in the Canadian Provinces. The program has helped more than 8,000+ children find their forever homes. The effectiveness of the Wendy’s Wonderful Kids model was put to the test with an unprecedented, rigorous five-year study. Its findings are significant and substantial – to the benefit of those waiting to be adopted. This model is up to three times more effective at serving children who have been in foster care the longest.

Wendy’s Wonderful Kids Alaska had historically functioned through the Office of Children’s Services. In 2011, Catholic Social Services was awarded the grant for a part-time Adoption Recruiter. In 2013 we received the grant for a full-time recruiter. Since 2011 Catholic Social Services has found 40+ children their forever families utilizing the Wendy’s Wonderful Model

Frequently Asked Questions

Who are the children in the program?

Children in foster care were removed from their families due to abuse, neglect or abandonment. A child might live temporarily with extended family, a foster family, or in a group home while social workers try to help the birth family. If the birth family’s problems can’t be resolved, the State of Alaska goes to court to assure a child is legally available for adoption. At this point, social workers try to find a safe and loving adoptive family for the child.

Wendy’s Wonderful Kids range from late toddlers to late teens. The average age range of a child in foster care is 8. Every race, ethnicity and socio-economic group is represented. Some children are alone and others are waiting with siblings.

What are the qualifications to adopt through foster care?

There are no specific requirements of age, income, or marriage status. Adoptive families are as diverse as the children who are available for adoption. In most cases, adoptive applicants become licensed foster care providers through the Office of Children’s Services, unless they are a relative to the child. In all cases, adoptive applicants must have a background check.

What qualities are important for parents who adopt?

Traits like flexibility, patience, good problem-solving skills, good sense of humor and a willingness to identify local community resources are all critical. Children don’t need perfect parents, just loving individuals willing to meet the unique challenges of parenting and make a lifetime commitment to caring for and nurturing them.

What is the adoption process?

Adoptive applicants must take adoption preparation classes and have a positive home study before being allowed to adopt. An adoptive child must reside in an applicant’s home for six months, minimum, before a legal adoption can take place.

What is a home study?

A home study is an in-depth application and interview process that involves in person interviews, reference checks and home visits to assess whether someone is appropriate match to the child and prepared to adopt. A child specific home study looks at whether or not adoptive applicants can effectively meet the basic and special needs of the child they have applied to adopt. Home studies average three months to complete.

How much does adoption cost?

Foster care adoption costs typically range between $0 and $2500, depending on circumstances. Adoptive applicants are eligible to receive federal adoption tax credit (see information on How to Fund Your Adoption). The State of Alaska has the ability to refer families for the adoption home study within Alaska at no cost to the family. Sometimes adoptive parents are awarded subsidies. Subsidies offer adoption assistance to families who need additional resources in order to make a long term commitment to a child with special needs successful.

Contact

To learn more about legally free youth that need forever homes, please contact:

Angela Perry-Carter
Wendy’s Wonderful Kids Adoption Recruiter
aperry-carter@cssalaska.org
907-222-7378 (office)
907-258-1091 (fax)