Program helping Oklahoma foster kids find homes

In Oklahoma, as many as 6,800 kids are in the foster care system, but a program is working with the state to help them find homes.

The Oklahoma Department of Human Services (OKDHS) is partnering with Wendy’s Wonderful Kids, which uses an evidence based, child-focused recruitment model to find the best home for every kid. It starts within the child’s familiar circle of family, friends and neighbors, then by reaching out to the community they live in.

Wendy’s Wonderful Kids is part of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, which provides funding to support the hiring and training of adoption recruiters.

OKDHS started working with Wendy’s Wonderful Kids in 2004, but ramped up the partnership three years ago. Now there are enough recruiters to focus on teens, siblings and children with special needs.

The kids served by this program have been in ten foster homes, on average.

In 2020, Wendy’s Wonderful Kids helped place 40 kids in adoptive homes, and in 2021, the program placed 200 kids in adoptive homes.

>>Tulsa Girls’ Home will provide refuge for teen girls in foster care

Wendy’s Wonderful Kids focuses on the children most at risk of aging out of foster care.

Data from 2017 through 2021 shows more than 94 percent of children adopted were adopted by their current foster parents. With more than 20 thousand kids aging out of foster care each year in the U.S., it’s a race against the clock.

Kids who age out of foster care are more at risk for unemployment, homelessness, substance abuse, early parenthood and re-entering government systems.

Click here to learn how you can become a foster parent.





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