Recent News

  • 08th January 2016

    Deadline for adopters to help schools claim extra funding

    All state funded schools in England can claim £1900 per year for every child adopted from care or placed from care with a Guardian. This funding is to improve the educational and personal outcomes for pupils, including (but not limited to) their attainment.The money is paid directly to the school who should assess along with the parents of the child what additional provision their pupils may need and how to spend the money e.g. extra tuition, training for teachers, equipment.  Schools must report on what the money has been spent on and the progress made by these pupils.In order for your child’s school to claim the Pupil Premium, you will need to inform them of your child’s status and provide supporting evidence (e.g. copy of an adoption certificate) before the school completes it’s Spring Census on January 21st 2016.Find our more about Pupil Premium here.

  • 24th December 2015

    Christmas Opening Hours

    PACT offices in Reading, Oxford, London and Brighton will be closed for Christmas from 12pm on 24th December until 8.30am on Monday 4th January.If you are a PACT family and need to speak to a PACT team member urgently, please call our emergency out-of-hours contact number 07787 834871.If you are interested in adoption, our enquiries line will re-open on Monday 4th January or you can email and leave a message. Alternatively you can find out about adoption on our website here, where you can also find out dates for information events and download an information pack.Alana House will be open for drop-in on Tuesday 29th December and Wednesday 30th December between 10am and 12.30pm.Wishing all our PACT families, supporters and friends a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

  • 11th November 2015

    Funding threat for service for vulnerable women in West Berkshire

    AN AWARD-winning community project for vulnerable women in West Berkshire is at risk of closure following a proposal to cut its funding.Alana House, which is run by the charity Parents And Children Together (PACT), launched its service in West Berkshire in 2014 and runs it as a satellite service from its similar project in Reading.The project provides holistic support for vulnerable women with complex needs and helps them to make positive life changes and develop new skills.West Berkshire Council has funded the service since it started with a Public Health grant from the Government. The council needs to make £11m savings in 2016/17 and is proposing that Alana House West Berkshire is one of the projects it withdraws funding from.PACT’s Head of Communities Development Natausha van Vliet said: “We have worked with more than 50 vulnerable women since we launched our service in West Berkshire last year.“These women have complex lifestyles or may be at risk of offending and, with our unique package of support, we have seen many of them make positive life changes.”She added: “We have enjoyed working in partnership with West Berkshire Public Health to set up this service and would be devastated if the project had to close due to the loss of their funding. The impact will be huge for some of the most vulnerable women in West Berkshire.”One of the women who has used the service at Alana House West Berkshire explained how it had made a difference to her life: “With the debt I was in and Christmas coming up I didn’t know what to do.“My Alana House support worker encouraged me and took me to a debt agency, who have started arranging repayment plans. Then Alana House gave me and my children Christmas presents and a food parcel! I honestly don’t know what I would have done otherwise.”Another woman, Maria, said: “Alana House is all women and no men so all of us are in the same situation and we can talk freely about things like drug and alcohol problems and violent relationships without feeling intimidated. I’ve gone to workshops and had one to one sessions.“I had debt issues so Alana House helped me make payment plans so that the bailiffs didn’t come. My support worker visited me at home too. I’ve been on day trips with other women as well. I’m computer illiterate but next week I’m starting an IT course here.“Without Alana House I’d most probably be in prison. Before it was like I was drowning, I couldn’t breathe but Alana House helped me swim, they saved me. I’m not on probation anymore but I still come to Alana House.”West Berkshire Council is undertaking a consultation on the proposed funding cuts and would like to hear the views of people affected. Take part in the consultation at: 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 supports vulnerable families through outstanding adoption services, award-winning therapeutic support and community projects in London and the south.

  • 22nd October 2015

    PACT to lead one of the first Regional Adoption Agencies

    Charity at forefront of government initiative to end delay for children awaiting adoptionADOPTION charity Parents And Children Together (PACT) has been chosen to lead one of the first Regional Adoption Agencies under a new government scheme to find adopters quicker for children in care.PACT’s bid alongside Medway, Milton Keynes and Brighton and Hove local authorities was given the green light by the Department for Education (DfE).They were one of 14 groups from across England who were handpicked by the government to form some of the country’s first Regional Adoption Agencies, brand new groupings of local council and charity adoption agencies that join forces with one single purpose – to place children waiting for adoption with their forever family without delay.PACT Chief Executive Jan Fishwick said: “We are delighted that our bid was successful and are excited to be joining forces with our partners at Medway, Milton Keynes and Brighton and Hove councils.“This is a new and innovative way of delivering adoption services and our vision has the children at the very heart of it.”

  • 15th October 2015

    Too old at 4? Adopters needed for children waiting the longest in care

    ADOPTION charity Parents And Children Together (PACT) is calling for adopters to come forward for children aged four and over during National Adoption Week (19-25 October).According to Adoption Link, more than half of children (55%)* waiting to be adopted are aged four or older. 54% of children waiting for their forever family are in sibling groups of two or more.The PACT team will have a stand on Broad Street in Reading on Wednesday 21st and Friday 23rd October. There will be social workers and Adopter Champions who have been through the process with PACT available to talk about adoption and answer questions.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, Shirley Elliott, said: “National Adoption Week is a brilliant opportunity to talk about the advantages of considering children aged four and over.“These children often wait longer for a forever family, being overlooked in favour of younger children, when in fact you often know a lot more about school age children and it can be easier to support them.”After the 2010 National Adoption Week campaign, PACT Adopters Hannah** and Darren** from London came forward and adopted Katie** who was four and a half. Hannah said: “Katie’s age was a win-win for us both. To anyone considering adoption I’d say do it, jump all over it, it’s the best thing we’ve ever done.”PACT Adopters Helen and Andrew from Surrey adopted siblings Nathan aged seven and Jacob aged three in 2010. Helen said: “If they are older you have a better understanding of their needs and development. You can also interact from day one.”PACT Adopter Georgia from West Sussex has just had the adoption order made for her son Presley, who was four when he moved in. Georgia said: “I do not feel we would have made anywhere near as much progress if he had not been both old enough and able to verbalise or understand what is being discussed with him.”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 adoptive and fostering families.Among the children currently waiting for adoption is five year old Samir, who needs a family who can promote his Muslim heritage. More information about him is available on PACT’s website information about PACT’s adoption service and for dates of PACT Information evenings visit or call 0300 456 4800.PACT has been building and strengthening families since 1911 through adoption, award-winning therapeutic services and community projects across London and the south.* 30.09.15** Names have been changed to protect identities

  • 23rd September 2015

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

  • 09th September 2015

    PACT statement on charity fundraising

    Parents And Children Together (PACT) is a registered charity and relies on fundraising and donations to enable it to continue its work with vulnerable children and families. At PACT we have been saddened by recent headlines about vulnerable people being targeted by aggressive fundraising methods.We would like to reassure all our supporters and donors that PACT does not use, and has never used, these methods of fundraising.We do not, and will not, pass on contact details of our supporters and donors to anyone else, including other charities.We respect the wishes of supporters and donors who ask for no further contact from us, and we adhere to Data Protection Law.We do not employ fundraising or marketing agencies to target people by telephone, or in the street, to persuade them to set up regular donations to PACT.PACT is a member of the Fundraising Standards Board and strictly follows the Institute of Fundraising’s Codes of Practice. We also comply with the key principles embodied in our Fundraising Promise.PACT has a small fundraising team which works hard to gain funding for our work from trusts and foundations and to support people who choose to make donations or take part in fundraising activities in whatever way they can.We are fortunate to have many people who believe in PACT’s work and do some incredible things to raise money for us. We would like to thank all of you who run marathons, skydive, do sponsored walks, cake sales, organise events or have become a Friend of PACT. We are so very grateful for your support.If you’d like to find out how you could support PACT please take a look at our website or get in touch with Laura Senior at won’t put any pressure on you but we’d love to hear from you!

  • 07th September 2015

    Reading Crown Court Open Day

    As part of Heritage week, Reading Crown Court will be opening it’s doors to the public and will be joined by other Criminal Justice Agencies.Date- Saturday 12th September 2015Time- 10am until 2pmYou can have a tour of the cells, visit the juror suite and find out what jury service entails. Participate in a mock trial as part of a jury and decide the defendant’s guilt or innocence.  Talk to people who work in the Crown Court and find out what it is really like to be part of the Criminal Justice Service.Please note: entry into the Court Building is subject to a security search. No sharp objects are permitted. No cans or bottles.For more info call Reading Crown Court on 0118 9674400 

  • 10th August 2015

    PACT celebrates the work of volunteers

    VOLUNTEERS have given 1600 hours of their time to charity Parents And Children Together (PACT) since it re-ignited its volunteering scheme in August 2014.PACT has 32 volunteers including 10 trustees, working across the whole charity. Volunteers provide counselling at women’s community project Alana House and help facilitate Bounce Back 4 Kids groups for children affected by domestic abuse.Bounce Back 4 Kids Manager, Kathryn Warner said: “Volunteers have transformed what we deliver.”Volunteers also help the fostering and adoption teams in numerous roles including providing administrative support and helping at recruitment events. They also support the PACT HR team and cover the reception desk at the PACT headquarters in Reading.PACT Chief Executive Jan Fishwick said: “I’m delighted at how well our volunteering scheme is doing, with volunteers in all areas of the charity. They are a key part of the PACT team.“Volunteers come from all walks of life and volunteer for a whole range of reasons from wanting to gain experience or brush up on skills, to support a local charity or simply to get out of the house.“Some of our volunteers do more than one role, one of them does three! I’d like to say a huge thank you to all of them.”The scheme is continuing to expand with lots of different volunteering roles available, including volunteers to help at adoption and fostering support groups, volunteers with accountancy experience and volunteers with specific skills they can share such as yoga.Volunteer Manager, Sam Ward said: “The feedback we consistently receive from our current volunteers is that they find PACT a warm and friendly place and the word that frequently comes up is that PACT is inclusive and they, as volunteers, feel included.”