Foster care adoption attitudes research

The 2013 National Foster Care Adoption Attitudes Survey was commissioned by the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption to better understand Americans’ attitudes about adoption. The Foundation partnered with Harris Interactive to survey more than 1,400 American adults online. Similar surveys were conducted in 2007 and 2002.

In the United States, there are more than 100,000 children in the foster care system available for adoption and more than 20,000 age out of the foster care system every year without families. Understanding Americans’ perceptions about adoption is important to finding a safe, loving and permanent family for every child. We are addressing the myths and misperceptions that Americans have about foster care adoption, and by doing so, the Foundation can more effectively move children from foster care to the permanent and nurturing families we promised them.

Read the press release.

Read the 2013 National Foster Care Adoption Attitudes Survey.
Read the 2013 executive summary.

Read the 2013 Canadian Foster Care Adoption Attitudes Survey.
Read the 2013 Canadian executive summary.

Past surveys

Read the 2007 executive summary (pdf)
Read the full 2007 survey report (pdf)
Read the 2002 executive summary (pdf) 

Wendy’s Wonderful Kids evaluation

The Wendy’s Wonderful Kids Evaluation is an unprecedented five-year study of a child-focused adoption recruitment effort in the U.S. foster care system. This experimental evaluation represents the most rigorous empirical study of child-focused adoption recruitment practices to date, providing much-needed information about practices and policies that improve the likelihood of permanent adoption for children in foster care – especially children who traditionally have had the least success. This control group research shows that children in foster care served by the Wendy’s Wonderful Kids recruitment program are 1.7 times more likely to be adopted than those not served. Older children, and those with mental health challenges are 3 times more likely to be adopted when served by Wendy’s Wonderful Kids.

The evaluation used automated random assignment of children into treatment (WWK) and control (non-WWK) groups, and administrative data from state child welfare agencies about children in the treatment and control groups. It included more than 1,200 children in 23 states. A qualitative study, and interviews with parents and youth were also conducted. Please use the links below to read the full results.

Click here to view the Fact Sheet

Click here to view the Executive Summary

Click here to view the Evaluation Report Summary

Click here to view the Program Description and Implementation Technical Report

Click here to view the Impact Findings Technical Report

Click here to view the Parent Brief

Click here to view the Youth Brief

Click here to view the Guide to Child-Focused Recruitment

Click here to view the Policy Maker’s Guide

Click here to view the 20th Anniversary Distinguished Panel of Experts Recommendations

Urban Institute From Awareness to Action: DTFA Philanthropic Strategy

The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption’s philanthropic strategy provides a case study of how the private and public sectors can work together successfully to develop innovative solutions to major social issues. Download the report.