Recent News

  • 02nd March 2017

    PACT supports Big Adoption Day 2017

    ADOPTION charity Parents And Children Together (PACT) is supporting a national campaign to encourage more people to come forward and provide a forever home to a child in care.PACT, which supports families across the south east and beyond through adoption, award-winning therapeutic support and community projects, will join other independent adoption agencies across the country supporting Big Adoption Day on Wednesday 29 March by holding an event for people interested in adoption.PACT’s event will be held in Reading on Tuesday 28 March at 6.30pm. The information evening will be led by a PACT social worker and will include a talk from someone who has adopted through PACT. The event aims to give potential adopters the chance to gain a better understanding of the adoption process as well as to speak to PACT staff and adopters.  Last year PACT placed 91 children with 58 families through its adoption services. There are currently more than 2,000 children waiting to be adopted in England.  PACT is particularly looking for couples or single people, including those from the LGBT community, who can consider adopting children over four years old, with BME heritage or who have additional needs as well as sibling groups of two or more children.Jan Fishwick, Chief Executive of PACT, said she was delighted to support Big Adoption Day, which is this year focusing on adoption support.Jan said: “With so many children in care waiting for a forever home, it is incredibly important that we continue to do whatever we can to raise awareness of the ongoing need for people to come forward and provide homes for these children.“I am particularly pleased that the campaign is highlighting the support that independent agencies can offer adoptive families. At PACT we really pride ourselves on the life-long specialist and therapeutic support we provide to our families via our Strengthening Families Team and our award-winning Family And Children Therapeutic Support (FACTS) service.“If you think you can help provide a loving, secure home to a child or children who need it, then we can help you make this happen, and be there to offer the right professional support when needed. Please do get in touch with us to find out more about the adoption and post-adoption support services we provide.” If you would like to attend PACT’s information evening on Tuesday 28 March please call 0300 456 4800 or email enquiries@pactcharity.org. You can also find out about other information events coming up, as well as more information about adopting with PACT, at www.pactcharity.org

  • 24th February 2017

    PACT celebrates LGBT week with a special event in Brighton

    PARENTS And Children Together (PACT) is celebrating national LGBT Adoption and Fostering Week by holding a special event in Brighton for prospective LGBT adopters. PACT supports families across the south east through adoption, award-winning therapeutic support and community projects. PACT actively recruits LGBT adopters and 16 per cent of people who adopted with PACT in 2016 were from the LGBT community. PACT’s free event on Saturday 11 March, to mark the national week of awareness-raising which runs from 6 - 12 March, will feature a question and answer session with a panel of PACT LGBT adopters who have children placed with them from a range of different backgrounds.  There will also be opportunities for people to talk individually with experienced adopters and social workers as well as to meet other prospective adopters over refreshments. Brian and Andy adopted two brothers, aged four and five, through PACT in 2014. Brian said: “We haven’t looked back and the boys are the best thing we have ever done. So far we have had no issues as a same sex couple and the boys are very happy.” PACT Chief Executive Jan Fishwick said: “This event offers an ideal opportunity for LGBT people who are looking to start or extend a family through adoption to find out what it’s really like from those who have already been through it. We are proud to be supporting national LGBT Adoption and Fostering Week again, and we look forward to working with many more LGBT adopters this year.” LGBT Adoption and Fostering Week is organised by New Family Social, a charity that supports LGBT adopters and foster carers. PACT adopters are entitled to become New Family Social members for life free of charge. PACT’s event will be held at the Brighthelm Centre, North Road, Brighton from 2pm until 4.30pm and light refreshments will be served. Find out more here or to book a place call 0300 456 4800 or email enquiries@pactcharity.org  For more information about LGBT Adoption and Fostering Week see www.lgbtadoptfosterweek.org.uk.   

  • 17th February 2017

    Forever families needed for sibling groups of three

    PACT is searching for adopters who could provide a forever family for groups of siblings who need to stay together.PACT supports families across the south east through adoption, award-winning therapeutic support and community projects. Last year PACT placed 91 children with 58 families through its adoption services. There are currently more than 2,000 children waiting to be adopted in England, many of them are in sibling groups of two or more.The charity is particularly looking for adopters who can take a sibling group of three children to enable brothers and sisters to stay together.Louise* and her husband Tom, from Oxfordshire, adopted Sophie, 5, Ben, 3, and Amy, 2, through PACT in March 2011 as they were unable to have their own children. The siblings had been separated in foster care, and it was thought they might also be adopted by two families as it would be easier to place them that way.But Louise, who said she and Tom were keen to adopt more than one child, said: “Being able to bring them back together was such an important thing for us.”Louise said there were definite logistical challenges of adopting three children and of making sure they met all their individual needs, but that they had received fantastic post-adoption support from PACT. She added: “Every day was, and still is, a challenge. But we are just a regular family getting on with life and enjoying ourselves. We would not change it for the world.”Harry and his wife Claire’s dream of a family was realised when they adopted three siblings, all under four years old, through PACT in 2016. He said it had been hard but that the three children had deserved to stay together. Harry, from Oxford, who will this April be running the London Marathon to raise funds and awareness for PACT following the help and support it has given his family, added: “To adopt a sibling group of three has been the toughest and single most rewarding thing my wife and I have done. This is why my tagline for life has quickly become "Will it be Easy? Nope. Worth it? Absolutely!”“Our children have been kept together which in turn has helped with their transition to our family whilst also helping to keep their identity. Seeing their smiling, excited faces when I come home from work or get off early and pick them up from school is more than I had ever dreamed of.”Jonathan and Katherine, from Banbury, adopted three sisters through PACT in 2013. At the time the girls were three, two and a year old.  Katherine said: “We are delighted to be parents, thanks to PACT, and we are fortunate to be able to give a home to these three lovely girls. Now we have such a strong bond with them, they are part of our family and it’s a privilege to be their mum.”PACT Chief Executive Jan Fishwick said: “Finding adopters with the skills and space for three children is crucial so that brothers and sisters, who have often had an unsettled enough start to their life, can be adopted and stay together with a new forever family. “Our teams are well-experienced at matching and placing sibling groups of three and in helping with the specific challenges such placements can raise. And, as is the case for all our adopted families, we will support families who have adopted three children for life through our specialist support and therapeutic services. “I would encourage anyone who could consider adopting a sibling group of three to get in touch with us and find out more about what is involved. Our friendly enquiries team will be able to answer any questions you might have, or there is lots of information available on our website www.pactcharity.org.”PACT also runs frequent adoption information evenings where anyone considering adoption (not just those interested in adopting siblings) can find out more. Events coming up include sessions in Reading on Tuesday 21 February and London on Thursday 16 March. These events start at 6.30pm and are free to attend but please book a place in advance by calling 0300 456 4800.PACT works with a range of adopters from all backgrounds, including those from black and minority ethnic backgrounds and the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. To find out more about adopting with PACT, download an information pack or book on to an information event, visit www.pactcharity.org or call 0300 456 4800. More information about adopting three children is available at www.pactcharity.org/adopt-three, where you can also read more about the adoption stories of Louise and Tom, or to see Jonathan and Katherine’s story in full see www.pactcharity.org/adopters-stories You can sponsor Harry at http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/Harry.Routledge*Names have been changed to protect identity 

  • 31st January 2017

    Volunteers raise more than £10,000 for vital PACT project

    A COMMITTEE of fundraising volunteers in Oxford raised more than £10,000 last year for a project that helps families break the cycle of domestic abuse.Bounce Back 4 Kids (BB4K) is an innovative programme developed by adoption charity Parents And Children Together (PACT) that uses therapeutic techniques to support children and parents who have been victims or witnesses of domestic abuse. Its work has been supported by PACT’s BB4K Fundraising Committee in Oxford, which raised £10,870 through a series of events over the year, enabling 23 children to attend the project’s courses in 2016/17.PACT Chief Executive Jan Fishwick said: “We are incredibly grateful for the work of our Oxford Committee and the fantastic amount it has raised for BB4K. This is such a vital project, and the money raised for it is crucial in enabling us to reach out to even more families who need support.”The fundraising committee is already busy planning events for 2017, including Racquets and Rosé – a tennis tournament and lunch - on Thursday 25 May and a Bridge Day event on Thursday 9 November. PACT Fundraising Manager Laura Davison said: “This committee is a great example of what a group of dedicated volunteers can achieve. We would love to see similar committees working in other parts of Thames Valley to help raise funds to support our work.”If you would like to find out more about the BB4K Fundraising Committee in Oxford and the events it is organising, or if you could help with fundraising for PACT in your local area please contact Laura by emailing fundraising@pactcharity.org or calling 0118 402 1696. 

  • 25th January 2017

    PACT calling for more adopters in Brighton

    ADOPTION charity Parents And Children Together (PACT) would love to hear from anyone in Brighton who can provide a secure loving home to a child in care.PACT is holding a series of information events where anyone considering adoption can find out more about what’s involved and the services it offers. Events include a session in Brighton on Wednesday 8 February at 6.30pm. It is free to attend but please book a place in advance by calling 0300 456 4800.PACT supports families across the south east through adoption, award-winning therapeutic support and community projects. Last year PACT placed 91 children with 58 PACT families through its adoption services. There are currently more than 2,000 children waiting to be adopted in England.PACT is particularly looking for couples or single people, including those from the LGBT community, who can consider adopting a child with additional needs or a sibling group of three or more.PACT Chief Executive Jan Fishwick said: “We would love to hear from you if you are thinking about embarking on a route to adopt. We understand this is a big step but getting in touch with us and attending one of our information events is a great way for you to find out more and work out if this is right for you. It could be the first step you take on an amazing journey.” Information events are led by a PACT social worker and will include a talk from someone who has adopted through PACT. There will also be chance to ask questions and talk informally to adoption staff, and there will be information to take away and read at home.Shirley Elliott, Head of Adoption at PACT, added: “Our experienced and approachable teams can offer help and support from day one. If you are thinking of adopting or have any questions at all about our services, please do get in touch. We look forward to hearing from you.”You can find out more about PACT and its adoption services at www.pactcharity.org or you can speak to one of PACT’s dedicated enquiry officers by calling 0300 456 4800. Lines are open 10am-3pm Monday to Friday.  

  • 20th January 2017

    Can you make a Pact for PACT in 2017?

    PACT is calling for people to make a new year’s resolution to take on a charity challenge in 2017 in support of its work.The adoption charity, which supports families across the south east and beyond through adoption, award-winning therapeutic support and community projects, would love to hear from anyone who can make a Pact for PACT and raise funds for its work.People can choose what challenge they undertake in aid of PACT, from signing up for a sky-dive to holding a cake sale. Other fundraising initiatives could include taking part in a sponsored walk, run or bike ride; encouraging your company, church or school to host a dress down day; or getting sponsored to give something up for a month.All money raised will help support the charity’s community projects and post-adoption therapeutic services for families across the Thames Valley. For example £155 will fund a support package for a vulnerable woman at the charity’s Alana House for a month including one-to-one sessions with a specialist support worker, or £50 will fund a child who has witnessed or been affected by domestic abuse to attend a Bounce Back 4 Kids session to help them manage their feelings and break the cycle of domestic abuse.PACT Chief Executive Jan Fishwick said: “We would love to hear from anyone who would like to support our vital work by making a Pact for PACT this year. All money raised will make a difference by enabling us to help more vulnerable children and families.”PACT Fundraising Manager Laura Davison added: “There are many different ways in which you can support PACT from running a marathon to organising a pub quiz. Whatever you choose to do we can support you along the way with help, advice and ideas. Please do get in touch if you would like to get involved by making a Pact for PACT.”You can also support PACT’s work by becoming a Friend of PACT and making a regular contribution to the charity or by following @PACTcharity on Facebook and Twitter to help raise awareness of its work.To find out more see www.pactcharity.org/support-us or contact our fundraising team at fundraising@pactcharity.org or on 0118 402 1696. 

  • 04th January 2017

    PACT receives £400 from Reading Councillors

    PACT was delighted to receive a cheque for £400 in December from Labour Councillors at Reading Borough Council. The Councillors personally contributed to make the donation which was organised by Cllr Deborah Edwards.PACT's Fundraising Manager Laura Davison (pictured) visited the Civic Centre to collect the cheque. She said: "We are delighted to receive this generous donation, made personally by the Councillors. They have chosen to donate the money specifically to our Alana House Project."PACT's Alana House project supports vulnerable women in Reading and West Berkshire. The project uses a holistic approach to support women by empowering them to take control of their lives, make informed decisions and improve their life chances. Find out more about Alana House here. 

  • 22nd December 2016

    Inspirational adoptive mum awarded MBE

    Sue and Jim Clifford

    ADOPTION charity Parents and Children Together (PACT) is celebrating the inclusion of one of its adopters in the New Year Honours list. Sue Clifford is being awarded an MBE for services to children and families.PACT supports families across the south east through adoption, award-winning therapeutic support and community projects.Sue and husband Jim Clifford OBE, have adopted nine children over the last 20 years, the last five of whom were through PACT. They chose adoption over IVF after being unable to conceive and have used therapeutic parenting methods to transform the lives of their children, all of whom had complex needs.The first children they adopted, their eldest daughters, were six and almost 10 when placed. The girls had been overlooked by other adopters due to their ages, and the local authority was considering splitting them up.Sue said: “The girls had always lived together, and Jim and I were horrified to think they might be separated.” For Jim and Sue it was the start of a remarkable family life, going on to adopt a further seven children.The couple believe that “every child should have the best childhood they can” and after adopting their own children, they founded a pioneering scheme – IAAM (It’s All About Me) to find adopters for the children who often wait the longest to be adopted.The IAAM scheme recognises that there is a group of children for whom moving to a new family and forming attachments is particularly difficult. The scheme provides adopters with an enhanced support package and additional support.PACT Chief Executive Jan Fishwick said: “We are delighted that Sue’s inspirational story has been recognised. What makes this extraordinary couple stand out from other adoptive parents is that their motivation to adopt was completely altruistic, as they deliberately set out to adopt specifically hard-to-place, older children with very complex needs. This is indeed a rare commodity in the world of adoption.“Sue has the most amazing ability to build her children’s self-esteem, making them feel worthy and valued.  She is hugely empathetic and, despite many setbacks and initial rejections, never falters in her unending advocacy, support, love and therapeutic care of her children. “The scale of her achievement, and that of her children’s with her guiding hand, not only has a massive impact on these new members of society, but on society itself.  The impact is unending.”Sue said: “I am absolutely delighted to receive this award, it is a complete surprise and completely unexpected.“Over the years I have supported well over 100 families, many for extended periods. Currently I am supporting around 25 families in total, and also co-facilitating Diadic Developmental Pschotherapy training for adoptive families. I have also spoken at conferences and support groups to encourage and support adopters and to campaign for more appropriate training and adoption support.”To find out more about PACT visit: www.pactcharity.org.  Sue and husband Jim are pictured speaking at a PACT event in 2011.

  • 08th December 2016

    Maidenhead girl raises money for cause close to her heart

    Parents and Children Together (PACT) has thanked a schoolgirl from Maidenhead who recently raised £122 for them.Rhiannon, aged nine, who attends Claires Court school in Maidenhead chose to support PACT, as the charity helped her family to adopt her younger brother, Harley.PACT supports families across Berkshire and beyond through adoption, award-winning therapeutic support and community projects.Rhiannon organised events across the school week; selling bracelets, styling classmates hair and she also ran a guess how many sweets in the jar competition. Rhiannon gave a presentation in assembly about the work that PACT do. Rhiannon said: “I am supporting PACT as the charity that supported us as a family to adopt my brother. My brother who is five has now been with us for nearly two years and he is definitely one of the family now.”PACT Chief Executive Jan Fishwick said: “This is a wonderful example of fundraising at such a young age. The money that Rhiannon has raised will go directly towards our work with families so that more children like Harley can find their adoptive families.”PACT Fundraising Manager Laura Davison visited Rhiannon in school to receive the cheque and presented Rhiannon with a certificate. Laura said: “There are lots of different ways to support PACT. We welcome fundraisers of all ages, and provide help and support along the way. Please get in touch if you would like to get involved and fundraise for PACT.”To find out more about fundraising for PACT visit: www.pactcharity.org/support-us.

Pages