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Adoption: Making an impact

Though perhaps better known for founding a fast-food restaurant chain, the late Dave Thomas was also one of the Ohio’s most high-profile adoption success stories. Now, the foundation that bears his name is celebrating a milestone: more than 1,000 successful adoptions from foster care in Ohio since 2004.

That is wonderful news. In fact, the foundation says it has saved Ohio taxpayers more than $64 million by moving kids who have waited longest in foster care into adoptive homes. The Wendy’s Wonderful Kids program partners with the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services and state adoption professionals to hire recruiters who focus exclusively on child who have been in foster care for a very long time.

But there is so much more work to do.

According to adoptuskids.org, “On any given day in Ohio, nearly 16,000 children are being cared for away from their parents. More than 9,000 of them are living with foster parents. The rest of them are in residential care or living with friends or relatives, who are sometimes referred to as kinship caregivers.”

Of that number, more than 2,600 Ohio kids are waiting to be adopted, but there are challenges. More than 1,000 are teenagers.

“Many of them are part of a sibling group,” the website says.

Kudos to the Dave Thomas Foundation for making a difference for some of those kids. That success should serve only as a reminder, however. Those who find themselves able — and willing — to bring some of these children in their homes should use it as an opportunity to consider making their own difference.

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