Rita's Blog

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Rita's Blog

For more than 30 years, Rita Soronen has worked on behalf of abused, neglected and vulnerable children, providing leadership for local, state and national efforts working to improve the juvenile justice and child welfare systems, while striving to assure safe and permanent homes for North America’s children.

Leading the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, a national nonprofit public charity, since 2001, and the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption-Canada since 2004, Soronen works to find adoptive families for each of the more than 134,000 waiting children in the United States and Canada’s foster care systems. Under her leadership, the Foundation has significantly increased its grant-making and awareness commitments, while developing strategic signature initiatives that act on the urgency of the issue.

Soronen currently serves on the board of the Public Education Committee of the National CASA Association, is a past vice president of the board of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute and a current member of the advisory board, serves on the advisory board of Barco’s Nightingale Foundation, and the We Deserve Love Too organization. She is a fellow of the Jefferson Fellowship for Executive Leadership. She is a recipient of the Angels in Adoption Award from the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute, the National CASA Association Kappa Alpha Theta Program Director of the Year Award, the Ohio CASA/GAL Association Statewide Leadership Award and was a 2013 recipient of WSNY’s 20 Outstanding Women You Should Know. She is a requested national speaker on the topics of children, the child welfare system, and social innovation.

A graduate of the University of Louisville with graduate work completed at The Ohio State University, Soronen resides in Columbus, Ohio, and has four amazingly talented children.

Content from this campaign

Guest Blog: From Hopeless to Hopeful. Finding a Family for Paul
Courtney Angeles is a Wendy’s Wonderful Kids recruiter and works each day to find loving permanent homes for children in foster care. The strength and resiliency of children in foster care is awe inspiring and the families that open their hearts and homes to our kids give me hope for the future. The story that highlights the joys and challenges for me the most is my first case as a...
Aug 11, 2016 2:00 PM ET
Guest Blog: These Children are Our Responsibility
Darcy Thachuk is a Wendy’s Wonderful Kids recruiter and works each day to find forever families for children in foster care at the Windsor-Essex Children’s Aid Society in Windsor, Ontario. Our children are our responsibility, and I do not take this role lightly. I believe passionately and firmly that our children are all adoptable. I am one of 11 Wendy’s Wonderful Kid’s...
Aug 4, 2016 9:30 AM ET
Guest Blog: The Value of Family…Priceless
Deborah Henry-Bennett is a Wendy’s Wonderful Kids recruiter who works every day to find loving, permanent homes for children in foster care in the Atlanta area. “It’s not about being rich or famous (at least not on a social work salary), but perhaps I can positively affect the path of a child’s life when they are in the helpless and incredibly courageous position of needing help. It...
Jul 28, 2016 3:00 PM ET
Guest Blog: Waiting for the Miracle
Grace Lindgren, is a Wendy’s Wonderful Kid’s recruiter and works every day to find forever homes for children in foster care. Adoption is a niche that I fell into serendipitously. Long before I knew what “social work” really was, I knew that I wanted to help people. I wanted to work with vulnerable populations, specifically. So there I was fresh out of undergrad with a Bachelor of Arts...
Jul 21, 2016 9:00 AM ET
Guest Blog: One Recruiter's Journey to Help Children in Foster Care
Elizabeth Johnson is a Wendy’s Wonderful Kids recruiter who works every day to find forever homes for children in foster care. I’ve been a Wendy’s Wonderful Kids Recruiter since 2007, but the surprising part is that I never aspired to work with children. I initially wanted to work with adults only (women mostly). So how did I end up on this path? Working with children in foster care and...
Jul 14, 2016 1:00 PM ET