Recent News

  • 17th July 2014

    New adoption service for gay and lesbian people

    ADOPTION charity Parents And Children Together (PACT) is to launch a new service to help gay and lesbian people adopt a child.PACT successfully applied for £400,000 funding from the Department for Education (DfE) to launch a new Inclusive Adoption service that specialises and focuses on the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community in Brighton.The charity plans to host information events, interview prospective adopters and run workshops to prepare and approve people waiting to adopt from a new office in Brighton, East Sussex, from September 2014.PACT is working on this project with New Family Social, a UK network for LGBT adoptive and foster families.Research by New Family Social into the common barriers preventing prospective LGBT adopters from enquiring found: 36% thought sexual orientation was a barrier to becoming parents;35% thought the assessment and matching process would be easier if they were not LGBT;25% had been told they should not be a parent.According to The British Association of Adoption and Fostering (BAAF), 6% of children were adopted by a same sex couple during 2012/13, an increase from 4% in 2011/12. This figure is rising and already PACT is ahead of its peers with more than 13% of adoption applications coming from LGBT applicants.PACT Chief Executive Jan Fishwick said: “There are many people in the LGBT community who would like a family and PACT wants to engage with those people, bust the myths associated with adoption and demystify the process.“We will have specially-trained staff and volunteers who understand the common barriers that might prevent prospective adopters from the LGBT community from enquiring.“This is an exciting development for PACT and we are looking forward to creating many more forever families for children currently in care.”The PACT team will be raising awareness about the new service at Brighton Pride on Saturday 2nd August at Preston Park.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).An Ofsted inspection in January rated PACT’s adoption service as outstanding across all four assessed areas. PACT’s therapeutic services FACTS, which support adoptive and foster families through difficult times, was awarded Voluntary Adoption Service of the Year in the BAAF National Adoption Week Awards in 2013.PACT supports vulnerable families through outstanding adoption services, permanent fostering, award-winning therapeutic support and community projects in London and the south.

  • 16th July 2014

    Top award for Alana House

    A COMMUNITY project in Reading has scooped a top award in recognition of its work with vulnerable women.Alana House, which is run by the charity Parents And Children Together (PACT), won The Howard League for Penal Reform Award in the Community Programme for Women category.Alana House supports women with complex needs, including ex-offenders and those at risk of offending, and helps them to make positive life changes and develop new skills.The award comes in the same week as Alana House opens up a new satellite branch in Newbury and will be reaching out to support women in West Berkshire in addition to those it already works with in Reading.Alana House West Berkshire will be holding drop-in sessions from Broadway House, Newbury, on Fridays from 1.30pm-3.30pm. One-to-one support appointments can be made at other times.The Howard League for Penal Reform is a national charity working for less crime, safer communities and fewer people in prison. It makes annual awards to well resourced and well structured programmes that raise public protection, bring down the rate of offending, and repay the damage done by crime in a way which custodial sentences cannot.PACT’s Chief Executive Jan Fishwick, Head of Communities Development Natausha van Vliet and Trustee Rev Tim Edge received the award from HRH The Princess Royal at a ceremony at Cavendish Square, London, yesterday (15th July).Head of Communities Development Natausha van Vliet said: “We are so thrilled to receive this prestigious award on behalf of our wonderful team and the inspiring women we support. We look forward to further developing our work with vulnerable women in the future and helping them to make positive changes in their lives.”Chief Executive Jan Fishwick said: “I am full of pride for the Alana House team who do an incredible job every day and this award recognizes that.”Rev Tim Edge, PACT Trustee and chairman of the charity’s Communities Committee said: “It was a privilege to be at the award ceremony on behalf of PACT, and I agree, we can be proud of all those who have worked to make Alana House work.”The award is the latest accolade for PACT, which has had a successful few months.The charity’s therapeutic support for adopted and fostered children was named Voluntary Adoption Service of the Year in the BAAF National Adoption Week Awards in October 2013.In January, PACT’s adoption services were rated as “outstanding” across all four assessed areas by Ofsted and, in June, it received the bronze award from Investors in People.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

  • 16th July 2014

    A new website for PACT

    Parents And Children Together (PACT) has unveiled a new website to reflect its recent growth and success.The site at has had a complete overhaul and now includes new adoption and fostering myth-busters and redesigned careers, news and information events pages.The launch of the new website comes after an amazing few months for PACT.The charity’s therapeutic support for adopted and fostered children was named Voluntary Adoption Service of the Year in the BAAF National Adoption Week Awards in October 2013.In January, PACT was rated as “outstanding” across all four assessed areas by Ofsted and, in June, it received the bronze award from Investors in People.And, hot off the press, PACT’s flagship community project – Alana House – won the Howard League for Penal Reform award for Community Programme for Women yesterday (15th July).PACT’s new website was designed by digital branding and communications agency Dusted and is a key channel in attracting potential adopters and foster carers.PACT’s Website Content Manager Tom McIlvenny-Cox said: “Our new website represents PACT now and where we are heading."This is an evolving space for PACT and the services we offer and will continually be optimised and reviewed to make sure we remain leaders in our field, but also retaining the information we provide to our prospective adopters, foster carers and families.”PACT supports vulnerable families through outstanding adoption services, permanent fostering, award-winning therapeutic support and community projects in London and the south.

  • 02nd July 2014

    Invitation to LGBT adoption promotion focus groups

    PACT and New Family Social will be running focus groups on Thursday 17th July to help design a new campaign to attract more LGBT adopters. We are inviting adopters to share their ideas and views on marketing materials and planned activities. Your input will be key in helping the campaign to find new LGBT families for some of the 6,000 children still waiting to be adopted. Can you attend one of two sessions?Afternoon 2 – 4pm Thursday 17th JulyEvening 6.30 – 8.30pm Thursday 17th JulyBoth sessions will take place at PACT’s office, CAN Mezzanine, 49-51 East Street London, N1 6AH, 5 minutes walk from Old Street Tube station.Each session will be for 5 – 8 people and last up to two hours long comprising of an informal discussion. You won’t need to do any preparation or have any prior knowledge of marketing – just a willingness to share your ideas about the general perception of adoption, barriers and myths, and how PACT can increase awareness of its services. Refreshments will be provided. PACT will pay travel expenses and each participant will also be given a £10 M&S voucher.RSVP by Thursday 10th July.  For more information or to sign up to attend, please contact

  • 23rd June 2014

    Charity partnership with Grant Thornton launched

    THE Thames Valley branch of global accountancy and advisory firm Grant Thornton has chosen Parents And Children Together (PACT) as its charity of the year.23 Jun 2014Staff at the company’s Reading, Oxford and Winnersh offices voted PACT for its 2014/15 partnership from a short list of charities. PACT supports vulnerable families through outstanding adoption services, permanent fostering, award-winning therapeutic support and community projects in London and the south. The partnership was launched on Friday 20th June with simultaneous events at the company’s offices in Winnersh and Oxford. Staff  enjoyed a pizza lunch and learned more about their new charity partner and the ways they can get involved and support the charity. Staff were asked to take on a Pact for PACT, which could be displaying an adoption poster in the local community; walking, running or cycling for PACT or even a sponsored sky dive. PACT Fundraising Manager Laura Senior said: “The partnership is already off to a great start with a raffle raising £850 for PACT. “Grant Thornton staff are also taking part in a World Cup sweepstake and are auctioning off items to raise money for FACTS therapeutic services for adopted and fostered children. “We will be inviting Grant Thornton staff to visit PACT’s specially equipped family therapy room in Reading to gain an understanding of how vital their support is.” Tash Pettiford-White from Grant Thornton said: “We are thrilled to have PACT as our new charity partner in the Thames Valley. Our people have carefully chosen PACT from a number of worthwhile charities and I think this is testament to how many families are touched by adoption and fostering and the wonderful activities of PACT.” “I am pleased from a personal perspective that PACT was successful as my husband and I adopted two children two years ago. PACT is a great charity that does amazing work finding children forever families” Any companies who would like to find out more about a charity partnership with PACT should contact Laura at Pictured is PACT Recruitment and Publicity Manager Francesca Fogell with Katie Baker from Grant Thornton

  • 19th June 2014

    PACT recognised as an Investor In People

    FAMILY support charity Parents And Children Together (PACT) has been awarded the Investors in People Bronze Standard, demonstrating its commitment to realising the potential of its staff.19 Jun 2014PACT has been building and strengthening families for more than 100 years through adoption and fostering services and community projects in London and the Thames Valley. This award follows the charity’s adoption services being rated as outstanding by Ofsted in January and its therapeutic services FACTS winning Voluntary Adoption Service of the Year at the BAAF National Adoption Week Awards in November 2013. PACT employs 76* members of staff across four offices – in Reading, Oxford, Pimlico and Old Street in London. PACT chief executive Jan Fishwick said: “Its been a wonderful few months at PACT with our Adoption Award, our Oustanding rating and now, this Investors In People bronze standard. “Every year PACT is finding families for more and more children in care and supporting more people in the community and we are proud to be recognised for delivering these services well. “But we could achieve none of this if it were not for our brilliant team who work so hard to do their very best for the children and families that we support. “Our Assessor commented on our staff being a talented and committed team and I would echo this. “It is an honour to be recognised for our commitment to our staff and we intend to continue to improve and develop this to realise our ultimate goal of achieving the IiP gold award.” Investors in People is the UK's leading accreditation for business improvement through people management, and provides a wealth of resources for businesses to innovate, improve and grow, with a focus on good people making great business. Paul Devoy, Head of Investors in People, said: “Achieving the Investors in People Bronze standard is something that any organisation should be truly proud of. It is the sign of a company which is truly committed to good people management practice and we’d like to congratulate PACT on its achievement.” For more information about Investors in People please visit

  • 12th June 2014

    A special Father's Day for 69 new dads thanks to PACT

    69 new dads and 83 children will celebrate Father's Day together for the first time thanks to adoption through PACT.12 Jun 2014 FATHER’S Day on 15th June will be extra special for 69 new dads across Berkshire, Oxfordshire, London and the Thames Valley who have adopted their children through PACT. Adoption orders were granted to many PACT families over the past year including17 new dads to 22 children in Berkshire5 new dads in to 8 children in Oxfordshire10 new dads to 12 children in London4 new dads to 4 children in Buckinghamshire15 new dads to 16 children in Hampshire3 new dads to 3 children in Surrey One new PACT dad, Rob from Marlow, said: “I’m really looking forward to my first Father’s Day. As a single parent, I’m relying on my son’s grandmother to organise a card and present and we are going to his nursery on Saturday for a Father’s Day Celebration. I can’t wait.” Another PACT dad, Michael, and his wife have a birth daughter and adopted their son in 2013 to complete their family. Michael, from London, said:  “Father’s Day for me is one of my best days of the year. Not only do I get to spend the day with my wife and beautiful children but I will have the added benefit of been spoiled rotten by them all. “Best of all it will be a day about family and that has been made all the more special by the fact that our family is now complete. I am blessed that whatever we decide to do on Father’s Day, I will continue to enjoy every day with my family.” Satwinder Sandhu, PACT Adoption and Fostering Director, said “Congratulations to all the dads celebrating Father’s Day after adopting their children. “PACT has helped hundreds of men to create or extend their family over recent years. We encourage any men thinking about adoption to get in touch to find out more and to attend a PACT information event to hear from a family who have been through the process describe their joy at being a parent through adoption.” PACT welcomes single men, as well as those in a relationship. Between June 2013 and May 2014, adoption orders have been granted for children adopted by 69 men, including six in same sex couples and one single man. PACT provides lots of support before, during and after the adoption assessment and matching process including award winning therapeutic support.” To find out more call 0300 456 4800, come to a PACT adoption information event or visit a PACT information stand: - Tuesday 1st July, 6.30 – 8pm, PACT’s office, 9 Southern Court, South Street, ReadingSaturday 19th and Sunday 22nd July, Lambeth Country Show, Brockwell ParkTuesday 22nd July, 6.30 – 8pm, PACT office, CMS, Oxford, OX4 6BZWednesday 30th July, 6.30 – 8pm, PACT office, CAN Mezzanine, 49-51 East Street, London, N1 6AHSaturday 2nd August, Brighton Pride, Preston Park, from 12 noonSaturday 9th August, Tasty Africa Food festival, Brixton Market, 10 – 4pmFriday 29th – Sunday 31st August, Big Feastival, CotswoldsSaturday 30th August, Reading Pride, Kings Meadows, from 12 noon All details of PACT’s information events are listed at

  • 23rd May 2014

    Endorsement for PACT as charity partner from Reading Buses

    A CHILDREN'S charity has received a glowing endorsement from Reading Buses following a 12-month successful partnership.23 May 2014The bus company said it was "thrilled with its partnership" with Parents And Children Together (PACT) and would "recommend it as a chosen or favoured charity for any organisation." The partnership, which lasted for 12 months in 2013, resulted in a record-breaking £6,543 raised for PACT's work in adoption, fostering, therapeutic support and community projects for vulnerable families. It also generated 34 enquiries from Reading Buses customers who were interested in adoption. Reading Buses Chief Executive Officer James Freeman said: "Our partnership with Parents And Children Together ended after a fantastic, and eye-opening, 12 months. Indeed, it only ended due to our policy of changing our chosen charity each year. "During the partnership, PACT were engaging, enthusiastic and full of ideas how to do more activities to not only raise money, but to raise the profile of both organisations. They showed us that the true value of being their partner was about engaging with our own customers and raising the profile of their charity. "PACT were always willing to get involved, whether it was activities we had planned jointly, or even something that one of our staff had done on the spur of the moment. "The joint use of press contacts from both organisations meant that all our activities were covered in the local press. Joint promotion through newsletters and website also saw our messages reach a large proportion of the Reading populace – something neither organisation could have achieved on their own. "We helped to raise the profile of PACT in the local area with lots of our customers showing high recognition for the charity throughout our partnership. And PACT helped raise our profile as a local operator trying to do some good in the local area and lending a much needed legitimacy to our charity work. "Overall we were thrilled with our partnership and would have no hesitation in recommending PACT to be a favoured or chosen charity for any organisation. They really are tireless in wanting to get their message across and will be a fantastic asset and partner." PACT's Fundraising Manager Laura Senior said: "Our year as Reading Buses's charity of the year was a huge success. "Many more people came to know about PACT and what we do and, as a result, we have been able to reach out to more children and families who need our help. "We are seeking new corporate partnerships for 2014 and beyond and would be willing to discuss opportunities with any companies that would like to work with us." A report into the Social Return on Investment (SROI) of PACT’s domestic adoption service found that each adoptive placement delivers a social return of more than £1m.* Laura Senior can be contacted on 0118 938 7600 or at ENDS *SROI report by Baker Tilly and the Cass Business School. Further details can be found at

  • 15th May 2014

    PACT and Adoption Focus jointly host drop-in afternoon

    TWO outstanding-rated adoption charities, Parents And Children Together (PACT) and Adoption Focus, are jointly holding a drop-in afternoon at the Moto Cherwell Valley on Saturday 17th May.15 May 2014The event will take place in the meeting rooms at the Junction 10 service station on the M40 between 1pm and 4pm. It is for people with questions or an interest in finding out more about adoption following the recent publicity on TV and BBC Radio Oxford. There are currently 6,890* children are waiting to be adopted and become part of a forever family. In 2013 more than 200 children were placed for adoption with families approved by PACT or Adoption Focus and both charities provide excellent post-adoption support. For more information about the event please visit, or call Francesca on 0783 3050649. *