SRP ranked second by Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption
By Heather Albert
SRP was ranked second among 100 U.S. energy and utility companies and No. 89 overall on the organization’s 2017 Best Adoption-Friendly Workplaces list.
Nick Bratcher’s son is soft-hearted and smart, the type of kid who loves to put together puzzles for fun.
“I have the best son ever,” Bratcher said of 4-year-old Gunnar. “I feel privileged to know him, much less be his daddy.”
But Bratcher, an Electronics Technician in Control C&M, might not have been able to be Gunnar’s dad if it wasn’t for SRP’s adoption benefit program, which the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, a national nonprofit that helps find permanent homes for children in foster care, recently recognized as being among the best in the country.
This is the second time SRP has been ranked on the annual Top 100 and the sixth time among the top five companies in the energy and utility industry in the 11 years the foundation has issued its list of adoption-friendly companies.
Bratcher himself is adopted, and the woman who adopted him was adopted, too. His biological grandfather was left on a doorstep, and his biological mom grew up in the foster care system. So it was natural for him and his wife, Ashlee, to consider adopting a child as well. But when the opportunity presented itself, the timing wasn’t quite right.
“We weren’t in a place financially to take on everything that would come with a private adoption,” Bratcher said. “We were going to have to take out a loan.”
His boss at the time encouraged him to talk with Human Resources about SRP’s adoption program. Bratcher was amazed.
“It was so surprising that a company was willing to take such a huge financial sacrifice to take care of someone they barely knew,” said Bratcher, who had been at SRP for about three years when he applied for the benefit.
“Having SRP’s help gave us a lot of comfort and flexibility and relief. And it locked in that I wanted to spend the rest of my career here. SRP made it possible for me to have my son, and I am so grateful.”
Employees who participate in the SRP adoption benefit program can receive a per-child payment of as much as $4,000 for a regular adoption and as much as $6,000 for a special needs adoption. Employees receive the payments in their paycheck when the adoption is complete and final.
Under the employee program, the adopted child is eligible to be added to the SRP group insurance plan once he or she is legally placed in the home.
Also, employees may be eligible for up to 12 weeks of leave as defined under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Eligible employees may have four of those 12 weeks paid under SRP’s parental leave policy.
Bratcher said that having a child is the “best thing ever” and encourages others to consider adoption.
“I think everybody wants to change the world,” he added, “and adopting a child is probably the biggest impact that any one person can have.”