Adoption charity Parents And Children Together has helped transform the lives of 82 children this year by finding them their forever families.
PACT, which offers outstanding adoption services to families across the South East, has placed 82 children with 56 families since the start of the year. There are currently more than 2,000 children waiting to be adopted in England.
One of the leading adoption charities in the country, PACT has placed 641 children with 465 families over the last five years. It 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.
In March this year PACT’s adoption services were again rated as outstanding following an inspection by Ofsted. PACT supports all its families for life, including through its Strengthening Families Team and award-winning Family And Children Therapeutic Support (FACTS) service, which has this year worked with 62 families.
As part of PACT’s ongoing commitment to supporting its families, in October it launched an innovative new online support service for adopters. The new service www.pactadoptionsupport.org, which aims to empower adoptive parents to help each other and access training and support, has so far been operating as a pilot for PACT adopters but will be rolled out more widely in 2018.
PACT also runs two community projects - Alana House, a community service to support and empower women who find themselves at a disadvantage, and Bounce Back 4 Kids (BB4K) which supports children affected by domestic abuse. This year 157 women accessed Alana House in Reading and its satellite service in West Berkshire for groups, courses, drop-ins and one-to-one support, and the BB4K project supported 38 children.
Alana House has received three awards in 2017, including a prestigious national Howard League for Penal Reform Community Award for its innovative partnership Enrich Programme. This is a project PACT runs in partnership with Thames Valley Police, IRiS and Reading Borough Council’s Troubled Families service to work with a small cohort of female low-level offenders who want to make positive changes in their lives.
PACT’s Chief Executive Jan Fishwick, who was made an OBE in the Queen’s birthday honours list this summer for her services to adoption, said: “It has been a very successful year for PACT, and while I am very proud of all that we have accomplished, our greatest achievement has to be that we have found forever families for 82 children, giving them the security and stability they deserve. I would like to wish these new families a very special first Christmas together.
“I would like to thank our hard working and dedicated staff, trustees and volunteers as well as all those who have supported PACT in various ways over the year to enable us to continue our vital work.
“I would also like to encourage anyone who is considering adoption to give it some real thought this Christmas and to get in touch with us in the New Year if this is something you would like to explore further in 2018. There are so many children who urgently need a permanent home and we would love to hear from anyone who thinks they might be able to help.”
To find out more about adopting with PACT, including details of the free adoption information evenings we are holding in January and throughout 2018, or to download our guide to adoption, see www.pactcharity.org/adoption
PACT’s offices will reopen on Tuesday 2 January 2018.