PACT – Parents and Children Together – is an adoption and trauma support charity helping hundreds of families every year through outstanding adoption services, specialist therapeutic support and inspirational community projects across London and the South-East of England.
Established in 1911, PACT is now one of the UK’s leading charities in its field and is dedicated to the placement of children with secure and loving families and continued support through therapeutic services. Our adoption support services include our online Children And Trauma Community Hub, our Strengthening Families team of therapeutically trained social workers, our Adopter Champion team of ‘experts by experience’, our education support service and our FACTS service which provides therapeutic support to help children to overcome difficulties in childhood, adolescence and early adulthood resulting from early trauma and neglect.
PACT also runs community projects supporting vulnerable children and adults facing a range of issues including domestic abuse, homelessness and debt. Our current community projects include the Alana House women’s community programme and Bounce Back 4 Kids domestic abuse recovery programme. Our vision is to help even more families and to initiate and provide quality services where there is currently unmet need.
The history of PACT: A century of building and strengthening families
PACT was founded more than 100 years ago when the then Bishop of Oxford, Bishop Francis Paget, held a passion to address the vulnerabilities of needy families living in the Oxford Diocesan area in 1910. He shared his concerns with other like-minded people to establish an organisation that would provide guidance and protection for children of tender years.
The founding work
A rescue worker, Miss Sharpe, was immediately appointed by the Diocesan Council and she began visiting unmarried mothers to help them build a better life for their children. Her first report recorded visits to 52 parishes, many by bicycle, within the first six months. She helped 97 women and girls, placing some in maternity homes, houses of mercy and refuges. The Council’s remit identified the importance of education and community support to help families to escape poverty and uphold Christian family values. Parents, teachers and youth leaders were all involved to ensure social wellbeing. In those early years the organisation worked in partnership with multiple external agencies, as it still does today.
The focus of the charity—to support families and provide services not available locally— remains constant. The reputation and experience of the organisation has grown over the years and PACT is now an independent adoption charity with strong partnerships with many different sectors, faith organisations, statutory bodies, corporate organisations and charities, promoting an inclusive and supportive culture. PACT continues to respond to unmet need by listening to its service users, supporters and stakeholders and developing innovative services that deliver high quality.
Bishop Paget established the Diocesan Council for Prevention and Rescue Work
Organisation approved as an adoption society and starts placing babies directly with adoptive families
The Oxford Moral Welfare Association (the name of the Council at that time) opens a home to support unmarried mothers, thus influencing PACT’s community projects today
Now called the Oxford Diocesan Council for Social Work, the organisation was restructured to find adoptive families for particularly vulnerable children
Became known as Parents And Children Together and registers to approve adopters for children from overseas as well as in the UK
Training courses provided through PACT for care sector staff seeking National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs)
Fostering service started
PACT Parent House in Bracknell opens
PACT merges with Childlink (London) and Alana House and Bounce Back 4 Kids open in Reading
Centenary Year celebrating 100 years of supporting families
PACT’s family therapy room opens in Reading
PACT opens an office for its adoption services in Brighton
Launch of The Adopter Hub, PACT’s online support platform for the adoption community
Alana House Community Café opens
Service at Reading Minster to mark International Women’s Day and 10 years of Alana House
Alana House recipe book Love, Trust, Hope published and Alana House coffee created with Anonymous Coffee and Girls Gotta Run
The Adopter Hub changes its name to the Children And Trauma Community Hub (CATCH) to reflect the wide range of people it now supports
Learn more about PACT
Our vision and values
At PACT, our shared vision and values drive everything we do.Read more
How we make a difference
Find out how PACT changes lives through its adoption services, support services and community projects.Read more
Our leadership team
Meet our Senior Management Team and our Executive Board of trustees.Read more
Equality, diversity and inclusion
PACT is committed to creating a culture of equality, diversity and inclusion.Read more
PACT’s adoption services were rated as outstanding by Ofsted three times in a row in 2014, 2017 and 2023.Read more
PACT is committed to fulfilling its duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people.Read more