FREDERICTON (GNB) – The Department of Social Development has hired a social worker to help children and youth in the permanent care of the province be adopted.

The province has signed an agreement with the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption to use the successful Wendy’s Wonderful Kids child-focused recruitment model.

“We all know the importance of the nurturing, support and love that is found within families,” said Families and Children Minister Stephen Horsman. “By adopting a child, you offer them a chance at a new life and a family to call their own. It is great to make this announcement in November, which is National Adoption Awareness Month, and particularly today, which is Children and Youth in Care Day.”

The recruiter will build relationships with children and youth in the permanent care of the minister and work to find them adoptive families.

“We are thrilled to see the Wendy's Wonderful Kid's Program is now in New Brunswick,” said Suzanne Kingston, executive director of the New Brunswick Adoption Foundation. “In many jurisdictions across Canada and North America, this program and its child-centred approach has been shown to be a very effective way to ensure children in care become part of an adoptive family.”

The program was created by Dave Thomas, founder of the Wendy’s restaurant chain. It is dedicated to finding adoptive homes for North American children and operates under the premise that every child should have a permanent and loving family. To date, the program has 300 recruiters working in 50 states and eight Canadian provinces.

The New Brunswick Family Plan framework aims to ensure that families are supported, resulting in a healthier province. It focuses government action in seven priority areas: improving access to primary and acute care; promoting wellness; supporting people with mental health challenges; fostering healthy aging and support for seniors; advancing women’s equality; reducing poverty; and supporting people with disabilities.