July 26, 1999 --Wednesday’s Child, a weekly televised adoption feature,
is coming to Chicago’s NBC 5 on July 28 to help recruit families
for Chicago-area foster children who need immediate adoptive homes, thanks
to a cooperative program announced today by the Freddie Mac Foundation,
the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), and NBC
Starting this week on NBC 5’s 6:00 pm newscast, NBC 5 Anchor/Reporter
Allison Rosati, a former foster child, will host segments featuring special
needs children in foster care. The features will air weekly on Wednesdays
as well as on NBC 5’s Sunday morning newscasts.
Child will generate awareness about the 30,000 Chicago-area children in
foster care as well as strive to find loving families for the 600 children
who immediately need an adoptive home. A two-year, $930,000 grant from
the Freddie Mac Foundation to DCFS is helping make Wednesday’s Child
Department of Children and Family Services is pleased to be included in
this significant national initiative that will make a difference in the
lives of many Illinois children," said Governor George H. Ryan. "Illinois
currently leads the nation in adoptions of children in state care, and Wednesday's
Child will supplement our continuing efforts to find loving, permanent homes
for our children.""Wednesday’s Child is an award-winning
program with a track record of success, and we are proud to expand our support
of this program from Washington, DC and New York City to now include Chicago.
Along with our partners—NBC 5 and DCFS—we look forward to brightening
the future for more of Chicago’s children.," said Leland C. Brendsel,
chairman and CEO, Freddie Mac, and chairman, Freddie Mac Foundation.
Child segment will profile children in the care of DCFS who fall into
the "hard to place" or "special needs" categories,
meaning they are older children or part of a large sibling group, or children
with special medical or physical needs. Each spot will provide viewers
with the DCFS adoptive parent recruitment hotline (1-800-572-2390) to
call for more information. DCFS, with assistance from the non-profit Adoption
Information Center of Illinois, will answer hotline calls, identify children,
and match children with prospective parents.
behalf of the waiting children of Illinois, I would like to thank the
Freddie Mac Foundation for bringing Wednesday’s Child to Illinois,"
said DCFS Director Jess McDonald. "The program’s proven success
is particularly uplifting. We are optimistic that Illinois, which received
the Adoption 2002 Excellence Award from the White House last year for
nearly doubling adoptions, will mirror, if not expand, the program’s
already proven success thus far!"
to Larry Wert, President and General Manager, NBC 5 Chicago, "We
at NBC 5 believe the Wednesday's Child program is a wonderful way to help
find loving parents and homes for the many deserving children of Illinois.
We also hope this informative program will inspire people who have never
before considered adoption to be open to the idea."
NBC 5 Chicago
Anchor/Reporter Allison Rosati said, "I feel truly blessed to bring
our viewers Wednesday's Child. As a mother and a former foster child,
I know how much children want a place to belong, a place to call home
and a family to love."
is patterned after the successful Wednesday’s Child show that airs
on NBC 4 in Washington, DC. In its seven years, the feature has placed
more than 125 children—40 percent of the featured children—and
has generated thousands of viewer inquiries about adoption.
Child launch in Chicago is part of the Freddie Mac Foundation’s campaign
to increase adoptions nationwide called "Wednesday’s Child USA."
Currently, more than 500,000 children are in foster care in the United
States. The Foundation is focused on finding more adoptive homes for the
100,000 children currently available for adoption by sponsoring Wednesday’s
Child television programs in Washington, DC, New York City, and now Chicago.
To further support the campaign, the Foundation raises funds from Freddie
Mac’s business partners through its Wednesday’s Child 5K race
information about Wednesday’s Child, visit the NBC 5 web site at
Freddie Mac in 1990, the Freddie Mac Foundation is dedicated to brightening
the future for children, youth, and families at risk. As the largest corporate
funder in the Washington, DC metropolitan area, the Freddie Mac and the
Freddie Mac Foundation have invested more than $50 million in nonprofit
organizations serving children and families. For more information, visit
our web site at: www.freddiemacfoundation.
Department of Children and Family Services was established in 1964 to
protect children who are reported to be abused or neglected and to increase
families’ capacity to safely care for their children. DCFS provides
for the well-being of children in state care; provides appropriate, permanent
families as quickly as possible for those children who cannot safely return
home; supports early intervention and child abuse prevention activities
by partnering with communities to fulfill our mission. For more information,
visit our web site at: http://www.state.il.us/dcfs