Recent News

  • 18th October 2018

    Pressures in the adoption system - letter in the Daily Telegraph

    The following letter highlighting the pressures in the adoption system signed by PACT and a number of other independent adoption agencies has been published in the Daily Telegraph on Thursday 18th October 2018This National Adoption Week we have been reminded of all the ordinary people doing extraordinary things, enabling children who most need it to have safe and loving families.Adoption agencies and the Government can be proud of the progress made since the Adoption Reform Programme was introduced in 2012, in making sure children can swiftly find the placement they need. But now, this is at risk. The adoption system is under severe pressure.In the face of structural reform and budget contractions, the capacity to assess families is falling well below the level needed. Today the numbers of children waiting outnumber approved adopters by three to one. This is a major concern with serious consequences for these children.This also represents a growing cost of care which is avoidable: just 25 days delay in achieving adoption costs local authorities £10m a year.Foster care is a loving and appropriate solution for many children in care, and adoption is and always will be for the few and not the many. But we urge the Government not to lose sight of these vulnerable children and refocus its efforts to safeguard their lifelong stability.Dr Carol Homden CBE, CEO, CoramJan Fishwick OBE, CEO, Parents And Children Together (PACT) Norman Goodwin CBE, CEO, Adoption Matters Jim Clifford OBE, Chair to the Board of Trustees, PAC-UK Maggie Pitts, CEO, CCS Adoption Alison Miller, CEO, St Francis' Children's Society Terry Fitzpatrick, Director, ARC Adoption Lynda Fletcher, CEO, Faith in Families David McGuire, CEO, Diagrama Foundation

  • 15th October 2018

    PACT appeals for a forever family for Jasmine this National Adoption Week

    As National Adoption Week starts today, adoption charity Parents And Children Together (PACT) is appealing for a forever family for a busy and bubbly two-and-a-half year-old girl called Jasmine.PACT is looking for a home for Jasmine through its Finding Families Together service, which it provides to local authorities for children who have been waiting a long time to be adopted.Jasmine is one of more than 2,000 children in England waiting to be adopted. There are currently double the number of children waiting for adoption than there are approved adopters. National Adoption Week, which runs from 15th-21st October, aims to raise awareness of the shortage of adoptive families and to encourage people to consider adopting a child or children who so desperately need a family.PACT is one of the country's leading adoption agencies and placed 82 children with 57 families through its adoption services last year. It is supporting the national campaign with a number of awareness-raising initiatives as well as its campaign to find a family for Jasmine.PACT's Head of Adoption Lorna Hunt said: "With so many children in care waiting for a forever home and such a shortage of adopters, it is imperative that we do whatever we can to raise awareness of the critical need for more people to consider adoption."We are particularly keen to find Jasmine the forever family she deserves and who can give her the security and stability she needs to thrive."I would urge anyone who thinks they can provide a loving home to Jasmine, or a child or children like her, to please get in touch with us to find out more."Jasmine is described as a happy and sociable girl, who loves playing outside in the park or the garden or with other children.Her foster carer said she was a "really busy, bubbly, active two-and-a-half year-old" who had a very "loving nature"."She has become the heart of our family and everybody around her has taken to her."Jasmine is small for her age, has some developmental delay and suspected Foetal Alcohol Syndrome.PACT is looking for an adoptive family who would be comfortable with Jasmine's health needs and able to offer her a nurturing and loving environment.Jasmine will receive a comprehensive assessment by the South London and Maudsley Hospital Centre for Children which will help identify potential support needs.For more information about Jasmine, including a film about her, see www.pactcharity.org/jasmineTo help mark National Adoption Week PACT is also holding an adoption information event in London on Thursday 18th October. For more details please see www.pactcharity.org/info. This is free to attend, but people are asked to book a place by calling 0300 456 4800 or emailing enquiries@pactcharity.org

  • 12th October 2018

    PACT marks Black History Month with appeal for black adopters

    Adoption charity Parents And Children Together (PACT) is marking Black History Month with a call for more black adopters.PACT, which offers outstanding Ofsted-rated adoption services to families across the South East, is one of the leading independent adoption charities in the country. Last year the charity helped transform the lives of 82 children by finding them their forever families.With more than 2,000 children waiting to be adopted, PACT specialises in finding secure and loving homes for priority children, including those of black and minority ethnic heritage, who often face the longest wait for their forever family.PACT adopters can be couples or single people, of all ages, ethnicities and backgrounds. It is particularly looking for adopters of Black Caribbean, African or dual heritage.As part of PACT's work to reach out to prospective adopters the agency will be attending Africa on the Square, a celebration of African arts and culture as part of Black History Month, on Saturday 27th October in Trafalgar Square.The charity is also organising a special adoption Q&A event in Reading on Saturday 27th October from 10am until 12pm. This event will feature a panel of PACT adopters, including people who have adopted BME children, who will be sharing their adoption stories and answering questions about their experiences.One of panellists is Marcia, who is Black British with a Guyanese/Jamaican family heritage, who with her husband Ian, who was born in Jamaica, adopted two sisters of Caribbean family heritage through PACT in October 2015.Marcia said she had found attending an information event had really helped her and Ian as they started out on their journey to adopt."I think for us, hearing from someone who had already adopted and come through the process, was really helpful and actually very inspiring. If adoption is something that you are considering at all, why not come along and find out more - the information events are informal and relaxed and are just a great way to get lots of information and ask any questions you may have."Marcia supports PACTs appeal for more black adopters as she feels strongly that cultural heritage should be an important consideration when matching children with adoptive parents."I just think that in their lives my girls will have 101 extra things to deal with because they are adopted, so if issues regarding identity can be minimised, then that can only be a positive thing. For me, I am absolutely determined to do what I can to make my girls proud of who they are, and I know I can help them with that."Chief Executive, Jan Fishwick OBE, said:"As a child, being able to identify with your main care provider, visually, culturally, historically and emotionally, will ultimately improve the chances of a more stable and enriched childhood."Lorna Hunt, Head of Adoption at PACT, added: "We are really keen to do what we can to reduce the time that black children have to wait for their forever family. Please do get in touch if you would like to find out more about adopting with PACT."As well as the adoption Q&A event PACT is also holding adoption information events this month in Oxford on Tuesday 16th and London on Thursday 18th. For more details please see www.pactcharity.org/info. These events are free to attend, but people are asked to book a place by calling 0300 456 4800 or emailing enquiries@pactcharity.org

  • 27th September 2018

    PACT adoption information events coming to Oxford

    ADOPTION charity Parents And Children Together (PACT) is calling for people from in and around Oxford to consider adoption as part of a national recruitment campaign next month.PACT has announced it is to start holding regular adoption information events in Oxford, with the first event being held in the city during National Adoption Week on Tuesday 16th October at 6.30pm.PACT supports families across the south east through adoption, award-winning therapeutic support and community projects. Last year the charity placed 82 children with 57 families through its adoption services. There are currently more than 2,000 children waiting to be adopted in England.PACT is particularly looking for couples or single people, including those from the LGBT community, who can consider adopting children over four years old, sibling groups of two or more children, children of black and minority ethnic heritage or who have additional needs. PACT Chief Executive Jan Fishwick OBE said: “We are delighted to be extending our programme of adoption information events into Oxford following growing interest in our work from families in the Oxford area. It is particularly fitting to be holding the first of these new events during National Adoption Week when we will be appealing for more people to start their adoption journey with us.”She added: “Our adoption information events are an ideal opportunity for anyone considering adoption. Attending an event does not place you under any commitment to proceed, but is a great chance for you to learn more about what is involved by hearing from people who have already done this, asking any questions you may have and chatting informally to our staff.“If you are at all interested in starting or extending your family through adoption please do come along to help find out if this is right for you, and if so how we can help you to do this.”The event on Tuesday 16th October will be held from 6.30pm until 8pm. There will be other adoption information events in Oxford on Monday 5th November and Monday 10th December. These events are free to attend, but people will need to book a place by calling 0300 456 4800 or emailing enquiries@pactcharity.orgPACT also holds adoption information events in Reading, London and Brighton. For dates of all events coming up see www.pactcharity.org/info

  • 27th June 2018

    PACT welcomes plans for community provision for female offenders

    PACT welcomes the news that the Ministry of Justice is planning to invest £5m in community provision for female offenders as an alternative to prison. We also agree with the Magistrates Association’s call for women who commit minor crimes to be given support rather than a custodial sentence.Our award-winning Alana House women’s community project has been working with vulnerable and distressed women, including those who have offended, for eight years and we have seen first-hand the difference this methodology makes to women and their children and families.Alana House uses a trauma-informed holistic approach to support women to take control of their lives, divert them from crime by supporting them to make informed decisions and improve their life chances. Many of the women who come to Alana House have experienced Adverse Childhood Experiences including domestic abuse, poor mental health, alcohol or substance misuse, poverty, unemployment and isolation.Alana House supports women by giving them opportunities to make courageous and positive changes that significantly impact not only their lives and those of their children but also the wider community.A Social Return on Investment report into Alana House found that the “life-changing” effects of Alana House’s work delivered more than £35m of economic and social value, in the lives of these women and their children, every year.PACT’s Chief Operating Officer Natausha van Vliet said: “We would welcome the opportunity for PACT to work with the Ministry of Justice and help to inform the planning of the trial of residential centres and how this will support and contribute to the valuable work being carried out in women’s centres like Alana House around the country.” 

  • 12th June 2018

    Happy Father’s Day from PACT

    FOR 54 dads who have adopted children through Parents And Children Together (PACT) over the last year Father's Day on Sunday 17th June will be extra special.The adoption charity, which supports families across the south east and beyond through outstanding adoption services, award-winning therapeutic support and community projects, placed 74 children with 54 dads over the last 12 months.One of the leading adoption charities in the country, PACT specialises in finding secure and loving homes for those priority children who can be harder to place and can face the longest wait for their forever family. These include children over four years old, in sibling groups of two or three, of BME heritage or with additional needs.There are currently more than 2,000 children waiting to be adopted in England.One new PACT dad, Ralph, who has been sharing his experiences of adopting via his blog www.the-unexpected-journey.com, said he was really looking forward to celebrating Father's Day with his growing family. Ralph said: "I cannot wait to enjoy my first Father's Day as a daddy, sharing the joy and happiness that our children bring to us. Our growing family means Father's Day this year will be even more poignant as I now better appreciate how much effort it takes to provide such a loving family." Jan Fishwick OBE, Chief Executive of PACT, said: "We are proud to have helped so many fantastic men to become fathers through adoption over the years. We wish all our PACT dads a very happy Father's Day. "Adopting a child, and giving them the love, security and stability of a forever family, is a wonderful thing to do, and we are always keen to hear from anyone else who thinks they can do this. Please do get in touch if you would like to find out more."

  • 05th June 2018

    PACT appeals for more adopters for black and minority ethnic children

    ADOPTION charity Parents And Children Together (PACT) is appealing for more people to consider adopting children of Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) heritage.PACT offers outstanding adoption services to families across the South East and last year placed 82 children with 57 families. There are currently more than 2,000 children waiting to be adopted in England.PACT is particularly looking for couples or individuals, including those from the LGBT community, who are themselves of BME heritage who could provide a home to BME children, who often wait the longest to be adopted.To help people find out more the agency is holding a special event featuring a panel of people who have adopted BME children through PACT, who will be sharing their adoption stories and answering questions about their experiences.The adoption Q&A event is being held in Pimlico, London on Saturday 16th June from 10am until 12pm. It will also give people the chance to talk individually with experienced adopters and PACT social workers as well as to meet other prospective adopters.One of the adopters taking part in the panel is Marcia, who with her husband Ian, adopted sisters Summer*, who was two years old, and Rachel*, who was 16 months old, through PACT in 2015. Marcia is Black British with a Guyanese/Jamaican family heritage, and Ian was born in Jamaica. Summer and Rachel are of Caribbean family heritage.Marcia said she felt that identity should be given careful consideration when matching children with adoptive parents."I just think that in their lives my girls will have 101 extra things to deal with because they are adopted so if issues over identity can be avoided, why not avoid them. For me I am absolutely determined to do what I can to make my girls proud of who they are, and I know I can help them with that."Marcia encouraged people of BME heritage to consider adoption, and not to be put off by the adoption process and the scrutiny that was involved, particularly for those whose cultural background may be different.She said: "I think it's the things you have been through, particularly the painful parts, that help you relate to the children you are adopting. You realise that what you have experienced is what your children might experience and that you can help them through that."PACT's Chief Executive Jan Fishwick OBE said although there is no legal requirement for adoption agencies to consider a child's racial, cultural and linguistic background when a placement is made, there are obvious advantages to matching children with adoptive parents who are from a similar ethnicity.She said: "As a child, being able to identify with your main care provider, visually, culturally, historically and emotionally, will ultimately improve the chances of a more stable and enriched childhood."We are really keen to do what we can to reduce the time that children of BME heritage have to wait for their forever family. Please do come along to our event or get in touch with us if you would like to find out more."The event on Saturday 16th June will start with a brief presentation about the adoption process followed by the question and answer session with the panel of adopters. It is free to attend, but people will need to book a place by calling 0300 456 4800 or emailing enquiries@pactcharity.org*Names have been changed to protect identities

  • 17th May 2018

    Our Alana House work in West Berkshire

    Our Alana House work in West Berkshire is changing. From the end of May 2018 we will no longer be delivering our vulnerable women's service funded through Public Health. This service will instead be run by Berkshire Women's Aid (BWA) from Friday 1 June and will continue to be available to any vulnerable women, not just those experiencing domestic abuse. We are working closely with Public Health and BWA to ensure a smooth transition, particularly for those women being supported by this service.Alana House will continue to work in West Berkshire through its Building Better Opportunities project, which is funded by the Lottery and the European Social Fund. The focus of the Building Family Bridges programme, which we offer throughout the Thames Valley, is to work with women who would like to secure employment or engage in training or education. We will continue to support women with additional needs as we support them into employment, however will no longer be able to work with women in West Berkshire who are currently employed or are ineligible to work, or who are in crisis or who have complex (three or more) needs, as they will need to be referred to BWA.For more information about Alana House, including contact details and referral forms, please see www.alanahouse.org

  • 09th May 2018

    PACT and OPP partnership launched

    FAMILY support charity Parents And Children Together (PACT) and business psychology provider OPP Limited (OPP) are embarking on a charity partnership starting in May 2018.OPP received nominations for 19 charities after it invited employees to champion its first charity partnership opportunity. They selected PACT because of the fantastic opportunities for the two organisations to collaborate and potentially make a ground-breaking difference to the adoption process.Staff at OPP are already involved in fundraising and raising awareness for PACT, with a team of 11 taking part in the Oxford Town & Gown 10k race. Others are joining PACT's Marathon in May challenge and are aiming to run, walk, cycle or swim 26.2 miles during the month of May.These initiatives dovetail with OPP's commitment to the wellness of its workforce and to making a difference to the local community which OPP is a part of.PACT is one of the UK's leading independent adoption agencies, and last year placed 82 children with 57 adoptive families. PACT also runs award-winning adoption support services and community projects including Alana House for vulnerable women including those at risk of offending, and Bounce Back 4 Kids which works with children affected by domestic abuse.PACT Chief Executive Jan Fishwick OBE said: "We are thrilled and excited to have been chosen by OPP as their charity partner. We have been so impressed by the level of engagement OPP staff have had with our services and the number of challenges and events planned already."We are also very excited about working with OPP on a project where their expertise could offer an innovative development to improve the adoption process."OPP's Chief Financial and Administrative Officer, Liam O'Connor added: "Our employees have done great things to support a range of local charities in the past, but we are truly delighted to be embarking on our first official charity partnership with PACT. They are a fantastic organisation with a genuine passion to create positive change in the way the adoption process works for parents and children. This struck a real chord with our staff and echoes our own desire to enable people to lead more successful and fulfilling lives."

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