PACT rated outstanding by Ofsted for a second time

Ofsted outstanding

ADOPTION services run by Parents And Children Together (PACT) have again been rated as outstanding following an Ofsted inspection in March.

PACT’s Chief Executive Jan Fishwick said she was “absolutely delighted” that the agency had retained the outstanding rating it was first awarded in 2014.

She added: “I’m thrilled that Ofsted has recognised all our achievements as an adoption agency by again awarding PACT the top grade. It is incredibly hard to gain an outstanding rating and to retain this for a second inspection is even more of an achievement. I am immensely proud of all our staff and volunteers who each contribute to our excellent organisation and have worked together as a team to achieve such an amazing result.”

PACT is one of the UK’s leading independent adoption agencies, placing 87 children with 62 families through its adoption services last year.

The inspection report says that PACT provides an “impressive service” to children and their adoptive families and that “Its main strengths are of note and worthy of dissemination across the sector”.

“Children placed with PACT adopters are deemed the ‘harder to place’ children, who may have been waiting for some time for a family. When considering the complexity of children’s needs, placements are highly successful with a relatively low pre-order disruption rate. Children, despite their complex needs, live in safe, stable and secure homes with parents who are totally committed to supporting them throughout their lives.

“The experience and progress most of these children make is impressive and demonstrates the agency’s exceptional quality of practice.”

It adds: “The agency recognises that successful linking, matching and introductions are key to the success of placements. The excellent arrangements for family finding ensure that children across the country, including brothers and sisters and harder to place children, may secure adoptive placements with PACT adopters. The efforts put into family finding are highly effective.”

The report concludes that “prospective adopters are extremely well equipped to deal with the emotional turmoil that is often displayed through their child’s behaviour.”

“Children are supported to come to terms with their disruptive backgrounds and the losses they have experienced in their lives.”

The report also emphasises the support that PACT offers to its adoptive families, which ranges from a 24-hour duty service that families can access in an emergency to family fun days held for adoptive families to get together. It highlights the work that experienced adopters, known as Adopter Champions, undertake for PACT, as well as the more focused therapeutic support which is available through its Strengthening Families Team and FACTS service.

“The arrangements for supporting placements are of the highest quality and there is an impressive range of informal and formal support services available on an individual and group basis. Support has stabilised placements and prevented family breakdowns.”

The inspector also praises PACT’s inclusive recruitment criteria and how people enquiring about adoption feel valued and welcomed. She describes how adopters who have used the agency have recommended its services to other people interested in adoption.

Shirley Elliott, PACT’s Head of Adoption, said: “I’m really pleased that Ofsted praised us for these aspects of our work. I would like to thank everyone who has worked so hard to ensure that we are consistently delivering an outstanding quality of service to all adoptive families.”

Jan Fishwick added: “This is a great success and I am confident that we have made a difference to the lives of many children and families. I would like to thank everyone across the wider PACT community for their continued support as we move forward.”

The full inspection report can be viewed on our website at