Funding for women ex-offenders at Alana House cut

AN AWARD-winning community project for vulnerable women in Reading will no longer be funded for its well established support work with female offenders.

Alana House, which is run by the charity Parents And Children Together (PACT), will not receive funding to provide rehabilitation services for women offenders. It will, however, continue its early intervention and prevention work with vulnerable women with complex needs, some of whom are at risk of offending.

After a lengthy negotiation period, the newly formed Thames Valley Community Rehabilitation Company (CRC), formerly the Probation Service, has withdrawn from negotiations with the charity and announced it will not be funding Alana House to work with female offenders from 1st October.

Alana House has been working in partnership with the Probation Service in Reading for almost six years, and launched a successful satellite service in West Berkshire in 2014. The project provides holistic support for vulnerable women with complex needs and helps them to make positive life changes, develop new skills and reduce re-offending.

PACT’s Head of Communities Development Natausha van Vliet said: “Despite lengthy negotiations with Thames Valley CRC we are very disappointed that they will no longer be funding our work with women offenders from the end of this month.

“We will continue to develop our early intervention and prevention services that we provide for vulnerable women at Alana House. However this part of our work is entirely dependent on fundraising and voluntary donations.

“We will also carry on providing the successful service in West Berkshire in partnership with West Berkshire Public Health.”

“We are concerned about the impact of this decision on the women offenders who have, up until now, been supported by Alana House. We truly hope that their needs will continue to be met.”

PACT Chief Executive Jan Fishwick said: “This is very disappointing, not just for Alana House, but for the many women who have turned their lives around since coming to us and those that will no longer be able to access these services at Alana House.

“PACT’s model for a unique package of support tailored to each woman has had incredible results. More than 70 women a month come to Alana House, and we have seen many of them make positive life changes.”

In 2014 Alana House won The Howard League for Penal Reform Award in the Community Programme for Women category.

To find out more about Alana House visit www.alanahouse.org.

PACT supports vulnerable families through outstanding adoption services, permanent fostering, award-winning therapeutic support and community projects in London and the south.