Recent News

  • 05th November 2014

    Join us for a magical carol concert

    CHILDREN’S charity Parents And Children Together (PACT) will be holding its annual Carol Concert at Dorchester Abbey on Sunday 14th December.The concert will include performances from the Abbey Choir, Cranford House Junior Choir and soprano Erin Hughes as well as lots of opportunities for the congregation to join in for classic Christmas carols.The carol concert will start at 6pm but everyone is invited to come to the Abbey at 5pm for a tea party featuring jazz band Queen Street Jazz and children’s activities.Tickets are free but should be booked in advance at www.pactcharity.org/carols. A retiring collection will be taken for PACT.PACT supports families across Oxfordshire and beyond through adoption, fostering, award-winning therapeutic services and community projects.Chief executive Jan Fishwick said: “Everyone is welcome to join us for this – our fourth annual carol concert at Dorchester Abbey and it is always a wonderful event to get us in the mood for Christmas.”The concert is hosted by Rector of Dorchester Abbey and PACT trustee Rev Sue Booys.

  • 05th November 2014

    Official launch for Alana House West Berkshire

    The ALANA House community project which helps vulnerable women is holding an official launch of its expansion into West Berkshire.Alana House, which is run by the charity Parents And Children Together (PACT), opened a new satellite branch in Newbury in July. An official launch event will be held at Broadway House, Newbury, on Tuesday 18th November at 10.30am.Alana House supports women with complex needs, including those involved in the criminal justice system, and helps them to make positive life changes and develop new skills.Alana House West Berkshire is reaching out to support women in the area in addition to those it already works with in Reading. Weekly drop-in sessions are held at Broadway House on Tuesdays from 12.30pm-3.00pm. One-to-one support appointments can be made at other times.In July of this year Alana House won The Howard League for Penal Reform award in the Community Project for Women category.Head of Communities Development Natausha van Vliet said: “We are very pleased to be able to extend our work with vulnerable women into West Berkshire.“We want to reach out to women in West Berkshire who need our support to help them make positive changes in their lives.”PACT supports vulnerable families through outstanding adoption services, permanent fostering, award-winning therapeutic support and community projects in London and the south.To find out more about Alana House West Berkshire visit www.alanahouse.org.

  • 04th November 2014

    An open letter to adopters by Ed Timpson

    At the start of National Adoption Week, Children's Minister Edward Timpson has written an open letter to all adopters.In the letter he thanks adopters for their commitment and energy and sets out the reforms that the Government has made to remove delays from the process for both children and adopters.The full letter can be viewed here.

  • 31st October 2014

    PACT talk – Children waiting to be adopted through the IAAM adoption scheme

    ADOPTION charity, Parents And Children Together (PACT), is hosting a talk about the It’s All About Me (IAAM) scheme which aims to find adopters for some very special children waiting to be adopted.The talk, which is open to anyone who would like to find out more about adoption and about some of the children in the care system, will take place on Wednesday 12th November at PACT’s Old Street office at CAN Mezzanine, London, N1 6AH.Up to 4,000 children are waiting to be adopted, with many aged three and over. Children who are chosen to be part of the IAAM scheme need loving and open-minded families to come forward to adopt them and give them a bright future.PACT Director for Adoption and Fostering, Shirley Elliott said: “Children waiting to be adopted through the IAAM scheme may have experienced abuse, severe neglect or have medical concerns such as mental health issues in the wider family.“We need adopters who are able to understand how negative early parenting affects children, or to be able to accept the uncertainty around a child’s health.“The IAAM adoption scheme includes an enhanced support package with therapeutic assessment and services. We know that early intervention and a stable accepting family gives children the best opportunity to overcome any early childhood trauma and to grow in confidence and self esteem.”All children waiting to be adopted through the IAAM scheme have a comprehensive assessment by the South London and Maudsley (SLaM) Child Care Assessment Centre. They will also receive specific therapeutic support tailored to any needs identified in the SLaM assessment, which will be provided through PACT’s award winning FACTS service.The event will include a talk by Isobel Child, who adopted her son when he was six years old. They both benefitted from the SLaM assessment and therapeutic support. Isobel will discuss some of the factors in her decision to choose her son and how the support from SLaM was vital in helping her son to thrive.“Adopting J was the best thing I ever did,” said Isobel. “The support from SLaM was vital for me and my son and I’m excited to learn that it is a key part of the support for adopters through the IAAM scheme.“Whilst my story is very positive, I know other cases where the adoption broke down and I was fortunate to have had the support from this expert team at an early stage.”PACT’s IAAM team will show short films and give a first hand account of some of the children waiting to be adopted. These include:Riley*, a two year old mixed race boy with a great sense of humour. He is already speaking clearly, counting his numbers and able to dress himself. Emma* and Katie*, are five year old twins who are well behaved, eager to help and follow instructions. They are affectionate, playful and curious about the world around them.Daisy*, age four and Jorden*, age three, are siblings who play well together. Daisy enjoys painting and puzzles. Jorden loves music and dancing. He has good concentration and speech for his age.More information about these children and the scheme is available on PACT’s website www.pactcharity.org/iaam.To book a place at this event, or to find out more about the IAAM scheme and children waiting to be adopted, please call PACT’s enquiry team on 0300 456 4800.*Names used have been changed. Recent photos and videos of the children will be shown at the event.

  • 30th October 2014

    Make the first memory of a child waiting for adoption a happy one

    ADOPTION charity Parents And Children Together (PACT) is asking people to share their first memory for National Adoption Week (3-9 November).Most people’s earliest memory is from the age of three or four and PACT is running the My First Memory campaign to highlight the need for adopters for children aged four or over.In the past year, 18 children* adopted by PACT families were four years old or over. According to Adoption Link, more than half of children (58%)**  waiting to be adopted are aged four or older and will have started primary school without knowing who their permanent family is.Many prospective adopters expect to adopt children under two years old, but PACT aims to find adopters for priority children including those that are older, in sibling groups or who have additional needs.PACT Director for Adoption and Fostering, Shirley Elliott, said: “Older children and sibling groups are waiting to be adopted and we encourage families to be open to choosing children who may be past the baby or toddler stage.“We would like to find families for all the children waiting, so they can come out of the care system and enjoy the family life they deserve.”PACT Adoptive mum Sadie who adopted four-year-old twins Michelle and Matthew with her husband Darren*** said: “We felt drawn to these two, and as we read through their profiles, we could see they liked doing things we would enjoy helping them with such as playing with board games, walking and feeding the ducks.”Darren said: “I hope that Matthew and Michelle will have lots of happy family play time memories to choose from when they are older.”PACT is inviting people to contribute their earliest childhood memory, along with a photograph of themselves as a child, for its wall of memories at www.pactcharity.org/my-first-memory. PACT is aiming to have 50 memories on its wall by the end of National Adoption Week.Participants are encouraged to change their social media profile pictures to their childhood picture during National Adoption Week (3-9 November) and to use the hashtag #MyFirstMemory to raise awareness of the need for adopters for older children.People can choose to support PACT’s work during National Adoption Week and beyond by texting PACT10 £3 (or an amount of their choice) to 70070. All money donated via text will be used to fund PACT’s award-winning therapeutic services FACTS that support adopting and fostering families.The wall includes a contribution from TV presenter and PACT adopter Saira Khan who said: “My first memory was was when I was four and I was playing with my cousins in Kashmir.”Among the children currently waiting for adoption are five-year-old twins Emma and Katie. More information about these children is available on PACT’s website www.pactcharity.org/iaam.For information about PACT’s adoption service and for dates of PACT Information evenings visit www.pactcharity.org/info or call 0300 456 4800.PACT supports vulnerable families through outstanding adoption services, permanent fostering, award-winning therapeutic support and community projects in London and the south. *PACT adoptive placements July 2013-June 2014.** https://www.adoptionlink.co.uk/pages/statistics (6.10.14)***Names have been changed

  • 23rd October 2014

    Change of drop-in day for Alana House West Berkshire

    A DROP-IN session for vulnerable women in West Berkshire is changing days.Alana House which currently operates from Broadway House, The Broadway, Newbury, on a Friday will be changing the day of its drop-in sessions to a Tuesday from 4th November. The session time is 12.30pm-3pm.Alana House is an award-winning community project that works with vulnerable women in Reading and West Berkshire.The project supports vulnerable women with complex needs, including those involved in the criminal justice system, and helps them to make positive life changes and develop new skills. Women are offered support, information and advice through drop-in sessions and one-to-one support.Alana House has a permanent centre in South Street, Reading. Its satellite branch in Newbury has been running since July 2014.The project, which is run by the charity Parents And Children Together (PACT), recently won The Howard League for Penal Reform Award in the Community Programme for Women category.Alana House Manager Angeline Cross said: “We hope this will be a more convenient day and time and enable more women to attend and benefit from the wide range of activities and professional advice that we can offer.”To find out more about Alana House and to check opening times please visit www.pactcharity.org/alana_house or phone 0118 921 7640. 

  • 01st October 2014

    Faith-friendly adoption campaign launched

    FAMILIES of faith are being encouraged to consider adopting or fostering a child in care.Home for Good is a campaign that reaches out to Christian families and urges them to consider adoption or foster care. It encourages those who attend church to wrap around families that adopt or foster to support them.The campaign has been raising the profile of adoption and fostering in churches throughout the UK for 18 months and has been so successful Home for Good is now being launched as a charity in its own right.It was created by Krish Kandiah, himself an adoptive dad and foster carer, who saw the unique position the church was in to make fostering and adoption a normal part of life and meet the need of the 4,550 children who need a forever family.The Home for Good pathway to adoption is being supported by adoption charities Parents And Children Together (PACT) and Adoption Matters.Both organisations are committed to providing faith-friendly service and specialist post-placement therapeutic support.Their staff have been trained by Krish Kandiah in order for them to enhance their understanding of the Christian community and any concerns they may have about the adoption process.The partnership will be officially launched at the Home for Good Summit on Saturday 4th October at the Q3 Academy, Birmingham. Hosted by TV presenter Diane Louise Jordan, the event will have seminars and speakers to encourage, equip and inspire prospective adopters.The summit will be followed by a series of information events from Brighton to Liverpool in the next few months. Anyone wishing to attend can call the Home for Good team on 0300 001 0995.Krish Kandiah said: “We are calling the church to step forward and help find a Home for Good for the 4,550 children waiting for adoption.“In order to do that with a clear conscience we wanted to be absolutely certain that adopters would have their faith valued when they went through the application process and that they would receive the best post-adoption support possible.“So we are delighted with our partnership with Adoption Matters and PACT as we can say with confidence that both of these things are in place.”PACT Chief Executive Jan Fishwick said: “PACT was established by the Diocese of Oxford so our roots are firmly with the church.“PACT warmly welcomes families of all faiths and sees religion as complementary to establishing and growing a family though adoption. We are proud to support and deliver the Home for Good pathway.”Chief Executive of Adoption Matters Norman Goodwin said: “The church can be a very supportive community for adoptive families and children, and Adoption Matters’ long heritage of working as part of the church community bears testimony to this.“We want, through this Home for Good initiative, to continue to create a brighter future for children waiting for a family.”All churches throughout the UK are also being encouraged to take part in Adoption Sunday on Sunday 2nd November.Further information about Home for Good is at www.homeforgood.org.uk.

  • 26th September 2014

    PACT launches new LGBT adoption service in Sussex

    ADOPTION charity Parents And Children Together (PACT) has launched a new service to help gay and lesbian people adopt a child.PACT’s new Inclusive Adoption service specialises and focuses on the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community in Brighton. The project has been funded by the Department for Education (DfE) to help find more loving and secure families for some of the 4,550 children in care.The project was launched yesterday (25th September) at PACT’s new office at Community Base in Queens Road, Brighton, and was attended by PACT adopters and representatives of local and LGBT groups including New Family Social – a support network for LGBT adopters.Speaking at the event, PACT Chief Executive Jan Fishwick said: “This is a very proud day for PACT. This is the official opening of our Brighton office – our fifth - and also the launch of our Inclusive Adoption Service.“PACT is proud of its excellent reputation amongst the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, and its thanks to a grant from the DfE that we have been able to extend our services to the Sussex area in order to attract much needed loving families for the 4,550 children in care in the UK today.“PACT is delivering this new service in partnership with New Family Social, a UK network for LGBT adoptive and foster families.“There are many people in the LGBT community who would like a family, and PACT wants to engage with those people to bust the myths associated with adoption, and demystify the adoption process. We have staff and volunteers who understand the common barriers that might prevent prospective adopters from the LGBT community from enquiring.“This is a very special occasion for PACT and we look forward to creating many more forever families for children currently in care.”The ribbon to officially open the service was cut by PACT dads Jacek Kacprzak and Andrzej Kubinski who adopted their two sons through PACT 18 months ago.The new Brighton office will be the fifth location for PACT’s adoption service. Current offices are located in Reading, Oxford, Pimlico (London) and Old Street (London).Anyone interested in finding out more about adoption is invited to attend an information evening at the Brighton office on Wednesday 1st October or Monday 24th November. To find out more or register to attend visit www.pactcharity.org/info.

  • 11th September 2014

    Ceremony for adopted adults to remember birth relatives

    ADOPTION charity PACT is to hold an event for adopted adults, birth relatives and adopters to remember family members who died before they were reunited.The Remembrance and Reflection Day will take place in London on Saturday 8th November. It is also open to professionals who work with adults affected by adoption.It will include a non-religious ceremony for people adopted as children and birth families to remember relatives who have died.The ceremony will be followed by an event for everybody, which will include music, speakers including Sue Elliott, author of Love Child, Jenny Plant, Chair of the Natural Parents Network, Alley Lofthouse of Afoundling, and a Ribbon Ceremony.Organiser Jean Milsted said: “Every year PACT supports up to 100 adults with tracing their relatives and it can be devastating for them to find out that the person they are searching for has passed away.“This can be particularly poignant for birth parents who find that the child that they placed for adoption had died some years ago. Sometimes the grief cannot be shared openly, and so this ceremony can be a place to feel safe, where other people understand what it is like for them.“We will also be having a Ribbon Ceremony – a tradition started by the charity Norcap that has now closed - where ribbons represent people they want to think about on the day.“This whole event is a way for people to think about their relatives and reflect on their adoption experience as well as an opportunity to meet other people in the same situation. It is not just for PACT adopters and adoptees, but is open to any adopted adults, birth relatives and adopters who would like to come.”The event will be held at Resource for London at 356 Holloway Road, London N7 6PA. The ceremony is at 2.15pm with the main event at 2.45pm. The event finishes at 5pm.Tickets are £5 each as a contribution towards costs. To book a place please email jean.milsted@pactcharity.org.PACT supports vulnerable families through outstanding adoption services, permanent fostering, award-winning therapeutic support and community projects in London and the south.

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