FAMILY support charity Parents And Children Together (PACT) is to have a new leader following the retirement of its chief executive.
Jan Fishwick OBE is to retire after 13 years at the helm of PACT, during which time the organisation has developed from a small adoption and fostering team to one of the largest voluntary adoption agencies in the UK.
During Jan’s leadership, the charity also developed specialist adoption support services including the online support platform The Adopter Hub, set up Alana House – a community project to support women facing multiple disadvantages – and Bounce Back 4 Kids – a therapeutic support programme for children affected by domestic abuse.
In a 45-year career in social care, Jan has become a respected leader and advocate in the field of children and families. She was recognised for her services to children when she was made an OBE in 2017.
Jan, who lives near High Wycombe in Bucks, said she felt her retirement comes at the right time for PACT as the charity enters a new chapter in delivering its great services through its adoption services, adoption support, community projects and digital innovation.
She said: “It is also the right time for me as I am looking forward to spending more time with family and friends, opportunities to travel, take up creative hobbies, and volunteer in one or two charities.
“PACT will always remain a firm favourite and receive my ongoing support into the future because of the valuable difference it continues to make to so many children, women and families.
“I will miss the exceptional group of staff and volunteers, their impressive dedication and hard work, commitment and flexibility, ingenuity and creativity.
“Most of all, I will miss how everyone collaborates together but I have every confidence that under the excellent and inspirational leadership of Natausha van Vliet, PACT will press on to deliver outstanding services and go from strength to strength. I will continue to enjoy hearing all about it!”
During Jan’s time as chief executive, 825 children have been adopted by PACT families, more than 1,000 vulnerable women have been supported by Alana House and 500 families have been helped by the Bounce Back 4 Kids programme.
Chair of PACT’s trustee board Wes Cuell said: “Jan’s outstanding leadership has enabled PACT to make a very significant contribution to the quality of the lives of hundreds of children and families and she has ensured that PACT is in a very strong position to continue our vital work.”
“We send her our sincere thanks and good wishes for a happy and fulfilling retirement.”
Succeeding Jan as PACT’s new chief executive from 1st April will be Natausha van Vliet, who has worked for the charity for nearly eight years and is currently the Chief Operating Officer.
Natausha said: “PACT is an amazing organisation to be part of, and I have so enjoyed working alongside Jan for almost eight years. She really will be greatly missed by us all.
“PACT’s support programmes and services for vulnerable women, children and adoptive families have never been more needed. I feel proud, honoured and excited to be taking over as CEO, working together with our dedicated PACT team to deliver PACT’s mission to build and strengthen families.”