Recent News

  • 07th April 2017

    PACT holds special event to inspire prospective adopters

    PACT is inviting anyone considering adoption to attend a special event where they can hear the inspirational stories of people who have already adopted. The adoption charity is holding the event in Reading on Saturday 6th May at which prospective adopters can put their questions to a panel of PACT adopters and experts.  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. 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. PACT is particularly looking for couples or single people, including those from the LGBT community, who can consider adopting children over four years old, those with BME heritage or who have additional needs, and sibling groups of two or more children.  PACT is also keen to hear from people interested in Fostering for Adoption. This is a scheme where babies and young children are placed with adopters under a temporary fostering arrangement while decisions are made through the family court process about the child’s future. The event will be held at PACT’s office on South Street, Reading from 10am until midday. It will start with a brief presentation about the adoption process. The panel of adopters, which includes a couple who adopted three siblings and a woman who adopted on her own in her 50s, will introduce themselves and there will then be around an hour of questions and answers.  PACT Chief Executive Jan Fishwick said: “Making the decision to adopt is a truly life-changing one, which no-one makes without a lot of careful consideration. From our experience we know that one of the best ways for anyone thinking about adoption to find out more is to talk with people who have already adopted. This event is an ideal opportunity for people to speak to some of our inspirational families and our expert staff about how people can adopt through PACT. If you are at all interested in adoption please do come along to find out more and see if this is right for you.” The event is free to attend, but people will need to book a place by calling 0300 456 4800 or emailing enquiries@pactcharity.org.  

  • 31st March 2017

    Alana House stages ‘Chaos and Calm’ photography exhibition

    WOMEN from the award-winning Alana House community project in Reading staged an exhibition of photos as part of an innovative photography project.The exhibition, called Chaos and Calm, was the culmination of a two-month therapeutic project exploring photography and the way photos can make you feel.The Alana House women’s centre, which is run by Parents And Children Together (PACT), uses a holistic approach to support vulnerable women by empowering them to take control of their lives, make informed decisions and improve their life chances. In 2016, 190 women accessed Alana House in Reading and its satellite service in West Berkshire, for groups, courses, drop-ins and one-to-one support.Eight women took part in the Photovoice project, taking photographs to convey their experiences.The project was supported and funded by a High Sherriff grant, in conjunction with the office of the Police and Crime Commissioner. It was also supported by The University of Leicester and The Howard League for Penal Reform.Victoria Fishburn, High Sherriff of Berkshire, attended the exhibition and presented certificates to all those women who had taken part.PACT staff and supporters also attended, and were asked to make comments on the photos on display. This feedback will be used by the University of Leicester as part of further research into how people respond and react to photography.One of the women who took part Shona Tabone said:  “I am looking to get into photography for work. This has been the best thing I’ve done for years.” Shona is now embarking on a photography project evidencing the change in community gardens by The Hexagon.Another participant said: “Alana House brought us together, the camera helped us talk and as we opened the shutter we opened our creativity, imagination and communication to find calm within the chaos.”Jan Fishwick, Chief Executive of PACT, said: “The exhibition was a fantastic conclusion to an inspiring project. Alana House is continuously striving to empower vulnerable women into making positive life changes by helping them to develop new skills and boosting their self-esteem. The Photovoice project is a great example of this in action. Congratulations to all who took part, and my thanks to those who supported it.”In 2014 Alana House was awarded The Howard League for Penal Reform Award in the Community Programme for Women category, acknowledging the positive impact it has on the women it supports and their wider communities.Next month Alana House will be celebrating its seventh birthday with a party for its users, staff, volunteers and supporters.PACT, which supports families across the South East through adoption and award-winning therapeutic support, also runs a second community project, Bounce Back 4 Kids which supports families affected by domestic abuse.To find out more about Alana House and its programme of activities, which include weekly drop-in sessions, see www.alanahouse.org or call 0118 9217640.

  • 23rd March 2017

    Happy Mother’s Day from PACT

    MOTHER’S Day on 26 March will be extra special for 57 new mums who have adopted children through Parents And Children Together in the last year.The charity, which supports families across the south east and beyond through adoption, award-winning therapeutic support and community projects, placed 81 children with 57 mums over the last year.There are currently more than 2,000 children waiting to be adopted in England.PACT is particularly looking for families 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.Steph became a mum to seven-year-old Caitlin in 2012 when she and her husband Nick adopted her through PACT. Caitlin had been in foster care since she was three and Steph recalls how excited she was to meet her new parents for the first time, calling out “you’re my new mummy!”.Steph said: “We had made the assumption that she would be nervous and reserved like us, but she wasn’t, she wanted a hug and immediately wanted her present, for us to see her cakes that she had helped make and to sit on my lap! We hadn’t considered that Caitlin was excited because at last she was going to get a family of her own and a chance for a new life.”She added: “Every adopter has different experiences of the bonding process. Mine was instant. Within days of Caitlin coming home our bond was set in stone, we got each other and we understood each other.”Steph and Nick, whose 13-year-old son from his previous marriage lived with them, chose to adopt as they wanted to have another child but Steph was unable to do this naturally following cancer treatment.They were both very clear from the start that they wanted to adopt an older child.Steph said: “The joy of having an older child is that they can talk to you and tell you how they are feeling. We feel that it made those initial meetings and her first few months with us easier to handle as she was able to express herself.”She added: “Our experience of adopting Caitlin was challenging and exciting. We have never regretted our decision to adopt her and we love her unconditionally. We can’t imagine life without her. We have had challenging times when we have been awake at night discussing our little girl and working out how to deal with the latest concern, but I don’t think we are any different to any other parent in that sense.”Jan Fishwick, Chief Executive of PACT, said: “I would like to wish a very happy Mother’s Day to all those mums celebrating this special day after adopting children.“But there are still many children in need of a mum, many of them are aged four or over, in a sibling group or have additional needs. I would encourage anyone who feels they can offer a secure and loving home to a child in care to get in touch with us, and find out how we can help them do that.”To find out more about adopting with PACT visit www.pactcharity.org/adoption or call 0300 456 4800. 

  • 20th March 2017

    Lunch for PACT adopters 23rd March 2017

    PACT is being visited by Ofsted Inspectors for a week beginning on Monday 20th March 2017. PACT would like to invite adopters to a lunch to meet with the inspectors on Thursday 23rd March 11.30am - 12.30pm.If you'd like to attend or would like some more information please contact Shirley Elliott, Head of Adoption - Shirley.Elliott@pactcharity.org.

  • 10th March 2017

    Team PACT take on the London Marathon!

    Seven runners are taking part in the London Marathon to raise funds for adoption charity Parents And Children Together (PACT).Each runner is aiming to raise £1,500 for the charity, which supports families across the South East through adoption, award-winning therapeutic support and community projects.The iconic 26.2 mile race takes place on Sunday 23rd April.PACT Chief Executive Jan Fishwick said: “We are really grateful to all our Team PACT marathon runners who are giving up their time to train for the race and raise funds for our work. Please do sponsor them if you can – all donations are welcome and make such a difference by enabling us to reach out to more families who need support.”PACT is one of the UK’s leading independent adoption agencies, placing children with secure and loving families and providing award-winning therapeutic support. Last year it 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 a child with additional needs, BME heritage or a sibling group of three or more.To find out more or to sponsor one of our runners see our Team PACT page.

  • 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. 

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