By Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoptionafw_top-100

Exceptional Software Strategies, Inc. (ESS) in Baltimore, MD, was recognized as #3 for small business and #68 in the United States for the top 100 Adoption-Friendly Workplaces by the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, America’s only nonprofit public charity dedicated to finding homes for children in foster care. This is the 10th year Dave Thomas has run this list and ESS has made the list every year!

Since 2007, the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption has compiled an annual list of the top adoption-friendly workplaces. This year, for the first time, the Foundation is recognizing all companies that applied. A new Best Adoption-Friendly Workplaces website ( will help employers and job seekers compare how companies stack up.

Best Adoption-Friendly Workplaces are determined by an analysis of financial assistance and paid leave for families who adopt, based on surveys completed by employers. Break-out lists are available noting America’s top 100 adoption-friendly employers, the top 10 by size, and the leaders in each industry.

“We’re committed to dramatically increasing the number of adoptions from foster care, and commend all employers who support families – especially those that grow their families through adoption,” said Rita Soronen, president and CEO of the Foundation. “We are so grateful to every company that has adoption-friendly benefits in place, and we’re honored to recognize them as an Adoption-Friendly Workplace.”

Best Adoption-Friendly Workplaces recognizes organizations of every size and industry that offer adoption benefits. Employers who applied for the program offer an average of
$8,000 and five weeks of paid leave. Financial reimbursement varies from $0 to $25,000, and paid leave varies from one to 18 weeks. Unpaid leave for adoption, beyond what is required by the Family and Medical Leave Act, ranges from one week to three years.

More than 100,000 children in the U.S. foster care system are waiting to be adopted.
Every year, more than 23,000 children in foster care age out of the system without families.

Companies and their employees interested in learning how to create or enhance an Adoption-Friendly Workplace can order the Foundation’s free kit at:

About Company:
Exceptional Software Strategies, Inc. (ESS) is a small business located in Linthicum, MD and has been a leading provider of information technology solutions to the Intelligence Community and the private and commercial sector for over 20 years. ESS offers a full range of services from software development to systems engineering, with deep functional expertise in the following areas: Portals & Composite Applications, Data Visualization/GIS Solutions, Business Process Management (BPM), Cyber Security, and Cloud Computing.

About the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption:
The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption is a national nonprofit public charity dedicated exclusively to finding permanent homes for the more than 130,000 children waiting in North America’s foster care systems. Created by Wendy’s® founder Dave Thomas, who was adopted, the Foundation implements evidence-based, results-driven national service programs, foster care adoption awareness campaigns and innovative grant making. To learn more, visit or call 1-800-ASK-DTFA.

Media contacts:
Jaime Williams
Marketing & Proposal Coordinator
Exceptional Software Strategies, Inc.
Phone: 410-694-0240

Mary Ellen Smalley
Director of Marketing and Communications
Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption
Phone: 614-764-8437