Recent News

  • 15th November 2018

    Celebrate Christmas with PACT!

    ADOPTION charity Parents And Children Together (PACT) will be holding its annual Christmas Carol Concert at Dorchester Abbey on Sunday 9th December.All are welcome to attend the concert, which will feature festive readings and performances from Dorchester Abbey Choir and the Benson Military Wives Choir. There will also be opportunities for the congregation to join in with some classic Christmas carols. The concert will start at 5pm, with light refreshments served from 4pm. It is free to attend but booking is essential via www.pactcharity.org/carols PACT Chief Executive Jan Fishwick OBE said: "Our annual Carol Concert is such a lovely way for PACT families and supporters to get together and celebrate the coming of Christmas in the stunning surroundings of Dorchester Abbey. We are all particularly looking forward to this year's event given that we had to cancel last year's due to heavy snow! All are welcome to attend, so please do join us if you can." PACT is also again selling Christmas cards in support of its work building and strengthening families. These can be ordered from www.pactcharity.org/christmas-cards And the charity is encouraging its supporters to wear their best seasonal sweater or festive accessories to help raise funds. PACT will be holding its annual Christmas Jumper Day on Tuesday 11th December and is inviting local offices, schools and churches to take part in exchange for a small donation to PACT. To find out more and how to get involved please contact fundraising@pactcharity.org

  • 14th November 2018

    PACT features on BBC Berkshire

    PACT has been featured on BBC Radio Berkshire this morning talking about the difference a £120,000 grant from BBC Children in Need has made to our work supporting adoptive families. The grant was awarded to PACT’s Strengthening Families team towards its work providing support and advice to PACT’s adoptive families.Reporter Bridgitte spoke to PACT staff, including Chief Executive Jan Fishwick OBE, and an adopter.You can listen back to the show here - PACT is featured at 1.46, 2.16 and 2.55 minutes in.     

  • 08th November 2018

    PACT awarded Ministry of Justice grant for new programme supporting female offenders

    PACT is delighted to have been awarded a grant by the Ministry of Justice to provide support for female offenders with experience of domestic abuse. The new programme will be delivered in partnership with Elizabeth Fry, Thames Valley Police and Reading Borough Council and will be located across Elizabeth Fry Approved Premises and Alana House (the women's centre run by PACT).The programme will include providing specialist individual support and tailored recovery programmes by a dedicated domestic abuse worker, as well as support when transitioning between services and into the community. The programme will also include support for wider needs such as skills development opportunities, and mental health support, and will launch in January 2019, running until March 2020.

  • 06th November 2018

    PACT wins Charity of the Year award

    We were absolutely thrilled to bits to be named Charity of the Year at the Pride of Reading 2018 awards.Organisers said the award was "fully deserved" and that PACT "has one of the hardest jobs of all - it helps vulnerable and traumatised children to find forever families as well as helping women and children keep safe."Category sponsors Roc Search described PACT's work over the years to help and support those looking to adopt as "incredible".Chief Executive Jan Fishwick OBE said the award was a fantastic testament to the hard work by PACT's amazing staff and volunteers.Pictured with the award are PACT's Chief Operating Officer Natausha van Vliet, Chief Executive Jan Fishwick OBE and Volunteer Receptionist John Southern, who nominated PACT.

  • 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.” 

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