CITY OF WASHINGTON, DC
Despite the fact that the number of children in foster care continues to grow, the number of adoptions has remained relatively stable. Currently, there are 110,000 children in America in foster care waiting for permanent, adoptive homes.
Children in foster care typically enter the system because of abuse, neglect, or serious family dysfunction. Sadly, experience shows the longer that they stay outside of a permanent family home, the greater the likelihood they will have emotional trauma, problems in school, risky behaviors, troubles with the law, and poor life outcomes. In 1991, the Freddie Mac Foundation, the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, and NBC-4 TV Station decided to create a partnership to do something about this situation and launched Wednesday’s Child.
Central to Wednesday’s Child are NBC-4 Anchorwoman Barbara Harrison’s weekend and evening news segments featuring special needs children available for adoption. These are children who are older, often in sibling groups, and may have health and developmental needs, making them among the most difficult to place in permanent, adoptive homes. Since 1991, the Washington, DC, program has helped 130 foster children—one out of every three children featured—find permanent, loving homes and has generated more than 5,000 viewer inquiries about becoming foster or adoptive parents. Every news segment can also be found on the NBC-4 website.
Wednesday’s Child seeks to raise money and create awareness for the adoption issue through 5K runs. Currently in their tenth year, the 5K races (formerly called Reach Out To Children) take place in cities across America. Freddie Mac underwrites the races so that 100% of the contributions can go directly to adoption programs in the host city and nationwide. To date, the 5K races have raised $5.2 million and created immeasurable public attention for the adoption issue.
The success of the program over the past eight years speaks to both its high quality and its pressing need. In 1999, the Freddie Mac Foundation broadened Wednesday’s Child to Chicago and New York in cooperation with public agencies and NBC stations in those cities. In 2000, plans are to expand to the program to Atlanta, Dallas, and Los Angeles. Each successful broadcast completes one more family.For more information, please contact:
Rick Leon, Manager Foster Care Adoption
J. Thomas Cochran, Executive Director
1620 Eye Street, NW, Washington, DC 20006
Telephone (202) 293-7330, FAX (202) 293-2352