Recent News

  • 30th October 2014

    Make the first memory of a child waiting for adoption a happy one

    ADOPTION charity Parents And Children Together (PACT) is asking people to share their first memory for National Adoption Week (3-9 November).Most people’s earliest memory is from the age of three or four and PACT is running the My First Memory campaign to highlight the need for adopters for children aged four or over.In the past year, 18 children* adopted by PACT families were four years old or over. According to Adoption Link, more than half of children (58%)**  waiting to be adopted are aged four or older and will have started primary school without knowing who their permanent family is.Many prospective adopters expect to adopt children under two years old, but PACT aims to find adopters for priority children including those that are older, in sibling groups or who have additional needs.PACT Director for Adoption and Fostering, Shirley Elliott, said: “Older children and sibling groups are waiting to be adopted and we encourage families to be open to choosing children who may be past the baby or toddler stage.“We would like to find families for all the children waiting, so they can come out of the care system and enjoy the family life they deserve.”PACT Adoptive mum Sadie who adopted four-year-old twins Michelle and Matthew with her husband Darren*** said: “We felt drawn to these two, and as we read through their profiles, we could see they liked doing things we would enjoy helping them with such as playing with board games, walking and feeding the ducks.”Darren said: “I hope that Matthew and Michelle will have lots of happy family play time memories to choose from when they are older.”PACT is inviting people to contribute their earliest childhood memory, along with a photograph of themselves as a child, for its wall of memories at www.pactcharity.org/my-first-memory. PACT is aiming to have 50 memories on its wall by the end of National Adoption Week.Participants are encouraged to change their social media profile pictures to their childhood picture during National Adoption Week (3-9 November) and to use the hashtag #MyFirstMemory to raise awareness of the need for adopters for older children.People can choose to support PACT’s work during National Adoption Week and beyond by texting PACT10 £3 (or an amount of their choice) to 70070. All money donated via text will be used to fund PACT’s award-winning therapeutic services FACTS that support adopting and fostering families.The wall includes a contribution from TV presenter and PACT adopter Saira Khan who said: “My first memory was was when I was four and I was playing with my cousins in Kashmir.”Among the children currently waiting for adoption are five-year-old twins Emma and Katie. More information about these children is available on PACT’s website www.pactcharity.org/iaam.For information about PACT’s adoption service and for dates of PACT Information evenings visit www.pactcharity.org/info or call 0300 456 4800.PACT supports vulnerable families through outstanding adoption services, permanent fostering, award-winning therapeutic support and community projects in London and the south. *PACT adoptive placements July 2013-June 2014.** https://www.adoptionlink.co.uk/pages/statistics (6.10.14)***Names have been changed

  • 23rd October 2014

    Change of drop-in day for Alana House West Berkshire

    A DROP-IN session for vulnerable women in West Berkshire is changing days.Alana House which currently operates from Broadway House, The Broadway, Newbury, on a Friday will be changing the day of its drop-in sessions to a Tuesday from 4th November. The session time is 12.30pm-3pm.Alana House is an award-winning community project that works with vulnerable women in Reading and West Berkshire.The project supports vulnerable women with complex needs, including those involved in the criminal justice system, and helps them to make positive life changes and develop new skills. Women are offered support, information and advice through drop-in sessions and one-to-one support.Alana House has a permanent centre in South Street, Reading. Its satellite branch in Newbury has been running since July 2014.The project, which is run by the charity Parents And Children Together (PACT), recently won The Howard League for Penal Reform Award in the Community Programme for Women category.Alana House Manager Angeline Cross said: “We hope this will be a more convenient day and time and enable more women to attend and benefit from the wide range of activities and professional advice that we can offer.”To find out more about Alana House and to check opening times please visit www.pactcharity.org/alana_house or phone 0118 921 7640. 

  • 01st October 2014

    Faith-friendly adoption campaign launched

    FAMILIES of faith are being encouraged to consider adopting or fostering a child in care.Home for Good is a campaign that reaches out to Christian families and urges them to consider adoption or foster care. It encourages those who attend church to wrap around families that adopt or foster to support them.The campaign has been raising the profile of adoption and fostering in churches throughout the UK for 18 months and has been so successful Home for Good is now being launched as a charity in its own right.It was created by Krish Kandiah, himself an adoptive dad and foster carer, who saw the unique position the church was in to make fostering and adoption a normal part of life and meet the need of the 4,550 children who need a forever family.The Home for Good pathway to adoption is being supported by adoption charities Parents And Children Together (PACT) and Adoption Matters.Both organisations are committed to providing faith-friendly service and specialist post-placement therapeutic support.Their staff have been trained by Krish Kandiah in order for them to enhance their understanding of the Christian community and any concerns they may have about the adoption process.The partnership will be officially launched at the Home for Good Summit on Saturday 4th October at the Q3 Academy, Birmingham. Hosted by TV presenter Diane Louise Jordan, the event will have seminars and speakers to encourage, equip and inspire prospective adopters.The summit will be followed by a series of information events from Brighton to Liverpool in the next few months. Anyone wishing to attend can call the Home for Good team on 0300 001 0995.Krish Kandiah said: “We are calling the church to step forward and help find a Home for Good for the 4,550 children waiting for adoption.“In order to do that with a clear conscience we wanted to be absolutely certain that adopters would have their faith valued when they went through the application process and that they would receive the best post-adoption support possible.“So we are delighted with our partnership with Adoption Matters and PACT as we can say with confidence that both of these things are in place.”PACT Chief Executive Jan Fishwick said: “PACT was established by the Diocese of Oxford so our roots are firmly with the church.“PACT warmly welcomes families of all faiths and sees religion as complementary to establishing and growing a family though adoption. We are proud to support and deliver the Home for Good pathway.”Chief Executive of Adoption Matters Norman Goodwin said: “The church can be a very supportive community for adoptive families and children, and Adoption Matters’ long heritage of working as part of the church community bears testimony to this.“We want, through this Home for Good initiative, to continue to create a brighter future for children waiting for a family.”All churches throughout the UK are also being encouraged to take part in Adoption Sunday on Sunday 2nd November.Further information about Home for Good is at www.homeforgood.org.uk.

  • 26th September 2014

    PACT launches new LGBT adoption service in Sussex

    ADOPTION charity Parents And Children Together (PACT) has launched a new service to help gay and lesbian people adopt a child.PACT’s new Inclusive Adoption service specialises and focuses on the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community in Brighton. The project has been funded by the Department for Education (DfE) to help find more loving and secure families for some of the 4,550 children in care.The project was launched yesterday (25th September) at PACT’s new office at Community Base in Queens Road, Brighton, and was attended by PACT adopters and representatives of local and LGBT groups including New Family Social – a support network for LGBT adopters.Speaking at the event, PACT Chief Executive Jan Fishwick said: “This is a very proud day for PACT. This is the official opening of our Brighton office – our fifth - and also the launch of our Inclusive Adoption Service.“PACT is proud of its excellent reputation amongst the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, and its thanks to a grant from the DfE that we have been able to extend our services to the Sussex area in order to attract much needed loving families for the 4,550 children in care in the UK today.“PACT is delivering this new service in partnership with New Family Social, a UK network for LGBT adoptive and foster families.“There are many people in the LGBT community who would like a family, and PACT wants to engage with those people to bust the myths associated with adoption, and demystify the adoption process. We have staff and volunteers who understand the common barriers that might prevent prospective adopters from the LGBT community from enquiring.“This is a very special occasion for PACT and we look forward to creating many more forever families for children currently in care.”The ribbon to officially open the service was cut by PACT dads Jacek Kacprzak and Andrzej Kubinski who adopted their two sons through PACT 18 months ago.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).Anyone interested in finding out more about adoption is invited to attend an information evening at the Brighton office on Wednesday 1st October or Monday 24th November. To find out more or register to attend visit www.pactcharity.org/info.

  • 11th September 2014

    Ceremony for adopted adults to remember birth relatives

    ADOPTION charity PACT is to hold an event for adopted adults, birth relatives and adopters to remember family members who died before they were reunited.The Remembrance and Reflection Day will take place in London on Saturday 8th November. It is also open to professionals who work with adults affected by adoption.It will include a non-religious ceremony for people adopted as children and birth families to remember relatives who have died.The ceremony will be followed by an event for everybody, which will include music, speakers including Sue Elliott, author of Love Child, Jenny Plant, Chair of the Natural Parents Network, Alley Lofthouse of Afoundling, and a Ribbon Ceremony.Organiser Jean Milsted said: “Every year PACT supports up to 100 adults with tracing their relatives and it can be devastating for them to find out that the person they are searching for has passed away.“This can be particularly poignant for birth parents who find that the child that they placed for adoption had died some years ago. Sometimes the grief cannot be shared openly, and so this ceremony can be a place to feel safe, where other people understand what it is like for them.“We will also be having a Ribbon Ceremony – a tradition started by the charity Norcap that has now closed - where ribbons represent people they want to think about on the day.“This whole event is a way for people to think about their relatives and reflect on their adoption experience as well as an opportunity to meet other people in the same situation. It is not just for PACT adopters and adoptees, but is open to any adopted adults, birth relatives and adopters who would like to come.”The event will be held at Resource for London at 356 Holloway Road, London N7 6PA. The ceremony is at 2.15pm with the main event at 2.45pm. The event finishes at 5pm.Tickets are £5 each as a contribution towards costs. To book a place please email jean.milsted@pactcharity.org.PACT supports vulnerable families through outstanding adoption services, permanent fostering, award-winning therapeutic support and community projects in London and the south.

  • 09th September 2014

    Accountancy interns cycle 269 miles for PACT

    A TEAM of interns from a Thames Valley-based accountants have cycled the equivalent distance between their five offices for charity.The four trainees from Grant Thornton’s Thames Valley branches have used static cycles in the gym to cover the 269 miles between their offices in Reading, Oxford, Southampton and Bristol.The money raised from the Tour de Grant Thornton is in aid of the company’s charity of the year Parents And Children Together (PACT).PACT provides adoption services, permanent fostering, award-winning therapeutic support and community projects in the Thames Valley and beyond.Hannah Bulley, Alec Dean, Charlotte Roberts and Lewis Malkin completed the challenge over several days in August.Lewis Malkin said: “When we first embarked on this challenge, I think we all knew as a team that hard times that were to come.“Through sore bottoms, sweat and the occasional tear, we have been able to raise a substantial amount of money for such a great and worthwhile cause.“I would like to thank everyone who has donated to our Tour de GT campaign in helping us get close to our target of £400.00, We know this money will be going to a good cause.”PACT’s Fundraising Manager Laura Senior said: “We always welcome new and fun ways that people can support PACT.“I’d like to say well done to the Tour de Grant Thornton team and thank you to everyone who supported them.”PACT has lots of experience in working with a wide range of companies who choose to support PACT with staff or customer activities. For more information about how you or your workplace can benefit in this way please contact Laura Senior at laura.senior@pactcharity.org or call 0118 938 7601.

  • 28th August 2014

    PACT adopters to share their stories at information events

    PACT adopters are to share their stories at upcoming information events in Oxford, London and Brighton in a bid to help find more loving homes for some of the 4,550 children waiting to be matched with new adoptive families.Parents And Children Together (PACT) assesses, approves and supports people as adopters and dual approved carers across London and the South. Information events are being held for those thinking about adopting or becoming dual approved and offering a loving home to children who aren’t able to return home to their birth family.PACT adopters Jacek and Andrzej, who adopted two brothers last year, will be speaking at an event at PACT’s new Brighton office on 1st October.Jacek said: “Andrzej and I adopted two brothers through PACT last year, it was a dream come true to become dads and family life ever since has been filled with love, joy and laughter.“PACT has been supportive throughout our journey and we are pleased they are coming to Brighton with a new office to help more families to choose adoption.”PACT’s IAAM Manager Amanda Davies will also be at the events to talk about some of the children waiting to be adopted, and the support available from PACT’s therapeutic services. Children waiting to be adopted by PACT applicants include five-year-old twins Katie and Emma.Forthcoming PACT Adoption and Dual Approval Information evenings include: Thursday 9th September, 7pm – 8.30pm, PACT Oxford, Watlington Road, OX4 6BZMonday 22nd September, 6.30pm – 8pm, St Saviour’s Church, Pimlico, SW1V 3QWWednesday 1st October, 6.30pm – 8pm, PACT Brighton, Community Base, 113 Queens Road, BN1 3XGThursday 23rd October, 6.30pm – 8pm, CAN Mezzanine, 49-51 East Road, London, N1 6AHThursday 6th November, 7pm – 8.30pm, PACT Oxford, Watlington Road, OX4 6BZFor full event details and to register your interest in attending visit www.pactcharity.org/info or call 0300 456 4800.

  • 05th August 2014

    PACT is charity partner for Dorchester Festival

    FAMILY support charity Parents And Children Together (PACT) has been chosen as the official charity partner of the Dorchester-on-Thames Festival 2015.The biennial event is one of Oxfordshire’s leading festivals and will be held at Dorchester Abbey from 1st – 10th May 2015.  More than 3,000 people are expected to enjoy over 40 events including The Tallis Scholars, a Come and Sing with John Rutter, a Food Fair with cookery demonstrations and a wide variety of children’s entertainment.PACT was chosen from a shortlist of six charities bidding to be the official event partner and share the Festival proceeds with Dorchester Abbey.PACT has been building and strengthening families since 1911 through adoption, long-term fostering, award-winning therapeutic services and community projects across London and the south.It hopes to use the funds raised from the festival to open a new family therapy room in Oxford which will help adopted and fostered children to address painful issues from their past.PACT chief executive Jan Fishwick said: “We are honoured and excited to have been chosen as the official charity partner of the Dorchester-on-Thames Festival in 2015.“We opened our first family therapy room in Reading in 2013 which has provided a safe and calm space for many families to work through difficult times and help the adoption or foster placement succeed.“We would love to use the funds we receive as a result of this partnership to be able to open a new family therapy room in Oxfordshire.”PACT’s therapeutic services FACTS won Voluntary Adoption Service of the Year in the BAAF National Adoption Week Awards in November 2013.An Ofsted inspection in January rated PACT’s adoption service as outstanding across all four assessed areas. 

  • 31st July 2014

    Could you be a forever family for twin girls?

    ADOPTION charity Parents And Children Together (PACT) is searching for a forever family for five-year-old twin girls.The two girls, Katie and Emma*, are currently living with a foster carer but need a permanent adoptive home.PACT is family-finding for the twins under the Its All About Me (IAAM) scheme which means the girls may receive specialist therapeutic support tailored to their needs, if it is identified as necessary.The IAAM scheme encourages families to come forward and adopt children who may otherwise be overlooked because of their age, ethnic background, additional needs or because they are in a sibling group.Families adopting under IAAM are given a range of interventions geared to supporting adoptive parents, including training in therapeutic parenting tailored to the specific needs of the child, and 24-hour support during the first two years after adoption to reduce the risk of placement breakdown.Mandy Davies, PACT’s IAAM Manager said: “At PACT we are dedicated to finding families for children of all ages and backgrounds.“We welcome couples and single people to come and find out about adoption and how they could change the lives of children like Emma and Katie.”To hear an audio interview with Emma and Katie’s social worker and foster carer please visit www.pactcharity.org/iaam. To find out more about the girls, including seeing a recent video, please contact Mandy Davies on email – amanda.davies@pactcharity.org.PACT supports vulnerable families through outstanding adoption services, permanent fostering, award-winning therapeutic support and community projects in London and the south east.PACT’s adoption services were judged as “outstanding” by Ofsted in January 2014 and its therapeutic services FACTS were voted “Voluntary Adoption Service of the Year” in the BAAF National Adoption Week Awards 2013.*Names have been changed

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