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Reeves signs legislation to aid foster children in Mississippi

Scholarship program named for state Rep. Bill Kinkade

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves Wednesday announced the expansion of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption’s signature program, Wendy’s Wonderful Kids, which focuses on finding adoptive homes for children within the Mississippi foster care system.

Reeves also ceremoniously signed HB 1313, which creates the “State Representative Bill Kinkade Fostering Access and Inspiring True Hope (or Faith) Scholarship Program.” The legislation provides $1 million for foster children in Mississippi to pursue postsecondary education.

State Rep. Bill Kinkade

The scholarship program carries the name of state Rep. Bill Kinkade (R-Byhalia), who grew up in the state foster care system.  Kinkade represents Marshall and an eastern part of DeSoto County.

The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption is generously providing 1.7 million dollars and their training and support program to the Mississippi Department of Child Protection Services. This unique public-private partnership will fund ten experienced adoption professionals to serve children and youth – including teenagers, special needs children, and siblings – who are at risk of aging out of foster care without a family.

“When the Foundation approached the state of Mississippi about scaling Wendy’s Wonderful Kids, they were eager to learn more,” Rita Soronen, President & CEO of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption was quoted in a news release. “Mississippi is a key part of our strategy to expand nationally. We are thrilled when these partnerships come together because it means more families for youth who have been lingering in foster care the longest.”

To date, the Wendy’s Wonderful Kids program has found adoptive homes for more than 12,000 children across the United States, including 125 youth right here in Mississippi.

“There are still too many Mississippi kids who need a loving family and a forever home, especially older teens who remain in foster care,” Reeves said. “We’ll continue to do everything we can to support children in foster care, find them loving homes, and give them the opportunity to succeed.”

Reeves ceremoniously signed the legislation during a ceremony held at the Governor’s Mansion. The event was live streamed and can be watched here.

One thought on “Reeves signs legislation to aid foster children in Mississippi

  • Linda K Randle

    This is great, but what about the kids who are NOT college bound?
    We were foster parent to many teens from ages 11-18. Most of these kids, due to past neglect and abuse are not good students as they have missed a lot in their younger years. We, as a Christian family, supported our kids as they aged out of the system because the “System” does nothing for them if they are not college seeking students. Many foster children are simply going out into the world with no support at all from DHS. They have no one to call on should they need help. Well mine do. They know we are always there for them. But with no teen foster homes available anymore, they are simply released out on their own with the clothes on their backs. Why can’t there be funding for Transitional Housing for work a day kids where they would have guidance, food, shelter and support until they get on their feet? Our kids had that kind of support if they wanted it. But we only cared for 15 over the years. We worry about all of those other kids sent out to fend for themselves. What about a plan for them? Thank you


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