Recent News

  • 02nd June 2016

    PACT celebrates Volunteers' Week 2016

    LOCAL charity Parents And Children Together (PACT) is celebrating the work of its fast-growing group of volunteers as part of Volunteers’ Week 2016.PACT is an independent adoption agency and provides specialist therapeutic support to adoptive families. It also runs community projects for vulnerable women with complex lifestyles and families affected by domestic abuse.In the last year PACT volunteers gave more than 2,700 hours of their time to help PACT provide its vital services. PACT currently has 22 volunteers helping with a variety of activities across London and the South including providing a warm and friendly welcome on adoption panel days, facilitating group work, manning reception and as trustees on its board. PACT also works with corporate volunteers and students on placements.Volunteers’ Week is running for slightly longer this year, from 1st – 12th June to coincide with the Patron’s lunch on 12th June which is a celebration of Her Majesty the Queen’s 90th Birthday and a lifetime of service as a Patron to more than 600 charities and organisations.Chief Executive at PACT Jan Fishwick said: “We’re really proud of our volunteers, they generously share their time, experience and enthusiasm. It’s wonderful to see the families and communities that PACT support getting such value from our volunteer team and know that in turn our volunteers benefit also.”PACT is keen to expand the volunteer team across all areas of the business. Volunteer Manager Sam Ward said: “We have a wide variety of opportunities available from a Handy Person to a Yoga Teacher to a Minute Taker.“We’d also love to hear from you if you think you could offer something to PACT which isn’t advertised on our website.“Volunteers share their time for all sorts of reasons including using or brushing up on existing skills, enjoying the sense of giving something back and making a difference, or the buzz of team work and having a routine. People often start with one role and go on to do one or two more.“In return for your time we’ll offer you training, social events, whatever support you might need and we’ll reimburse your travel expenses.”If you’d like to find out more about volunteering for PACT visit: www.pactcharity.org/volunteer or contact Volunteer Manager Sam Ward (sam.ward@pactcharity.org, 0118 402 1706)

  • 26th May 2016

    More adopters needed in Brighton

    ADOPTION charity Parents and Children Together (PACT) is looking to recruit more adopters from the Brighton area.PACT has an office in central Brighton which specialises in LGBT adoption but also welcomes heterosexual adopters. PACT placed 78 children with 57 adoptive families between April 2015 and March 2016.PACT is particularly looking for adopters interested in taking a sibling group of three or a child of Black British, Caribbean, African or Dual Heritage. These ‘priority children’ have often been waiting the longest for their forever family.PACT Chief Executive Jan Fishwick said: “We have a great record of approving and placing with LGBT adopters in Brighton. Experience shows us that the LGBT community approach adoption with an open mind and are often a good match for these priority children.“Equally we would love to hear from heterosexual couples or single people who would like to find out more about adopting a priority child or children.“There are very few barriers to adoption so I would encourage anyone considering it in Brighton and surrounding areas to take the first steps and contact PACT.”PACT runs frequent adoption information evenings in Brighton as well as daytime drop-ins. At these events you can find out more about the process and speak informally to a PACT social worker or adopter from the area. The next information evening takes place on 2nd June 2016 and the next drop in is on Friday 1st July 2016.Rated Outstanding by Ofsted, PACT supports its families for life through FACTS, its award-winning therapeutic support service. PACT can also offer accelerated adoption assessments to the types of adopters who are needed most, in order to speed up the adoption process.To find out more about information events or download a Guide to Adoption visit www.pactcharity.org. You can also enquire by telephone Monday-Friday between 10am and 3pm by calling 0300 456 4800.

  • 19th May 2016

    Alana House celebrates six years and a new corporate partnership

    PACT’s Alana House, a women’s community project in Reading has lots to celebrate this month; turning six years old and a new corporate partnership with The Body Shop in Reading.Alana House uses a holistic approach to provide early intervention and prevention support for vulnerable women and those at risk of offending. In 2015/16 it helped more than 260 women.Alana House service users, Reading Mayor Cllr Sarah Hacker, staff and other professionals attended a birthday party to celebrate six years of the project, which also runs a satellite service in West Berkshire.Alana House is also celebrating a new partnership with The Body Shop in Reading Oracle. Now in its 40th year, The Body Shop began with Anita Roddick's passionate belief that businesses can be used to create a better world. The Reading store has recently been refitted and re-launched and Natausha Van Vliet, Director of Business Development at PACT went along to the official opening.Razna Khatun, Store Manager at The Body Shop, Reading said: “The Body Shop in Reading have partnered up with Alana House. The team will commit to volunteering at Alana house at their drop-in sessions in the summer.”Kathryn Warner, Communities Manager at PACT said: “There are great things going on at Alana House this month, we enjoyed celebrating our sixth birthday and can’t wait to welcome The Body Shop staff to offer our ladies a pamper session at one of our drop-ins.“Drop-in sessions run three times a week and offer the ladies a wide range of activities and the chance to have a cuppa and a chat with other women.”Alana House is just one of charity PACT’s two community projects, it also runs Bounce Back 4 Kids which supports families affected by domestic abuse. The charity also runs an Outstanding-rated adoption service which includes therapeutic support.To find out more about Alana House click here. If you’d like to discuss becoming a corporate partner of PACT please contact Laura Davison, Fundraising Manager at PACT (laura.davison@pacthcharity.org).

  • 27th April 2016

    PACT recruiting more adopters after another successful year

    PACT is celebrating finding forever families for the 78 children who were placed with 57 PACT families between April 2015 and March 2016.PACT has been supporting local families for more than 100 years providing adoption services as well as running inspirational community projects for families affected by domestic abuse and vulnerable women.However the search for adopters at PACT continues. In September 2015 there were 2,060 children in England with a placement order for adoption still waiting to be placed with adopters, nearly half of whom are in sibling groups of two or more children.*PACT Chief Executive Jan Fishwick said: “We’re delighted to have made so many placements with our families over the last year.“We must continue to recruit adopters for 'priority children' who have been waiting the longest. These children can be aged four or over, have additional needs or are in a sibling group."We’re finding that sibling groups are often made up of three children, so if you think you’re up to the challenge of three, we’d love to hear from you. Finding adopters for these groups means they can stay together which is so important.“There is also great demand for adopters of Black British, Caribbean and African heritage.”PACT is rated Outstanding by Ofsted and offers support for life to all families through its award winning therapeutic support service, FACTS. PACT can also offer accelerated adoption assessments to the types of adopters who are needed most, in order to speed up the adoption process.PACT run regular adoption information events to find out more about the process and hear from a PACT adoptive family. To find out more visit http://pactcharity.org/ or call PACT’s dedicated Enquiries Team on 0300 456 4800. Lines are open Monday – Friday 10am – 3pm.

  • 29th March 2016

    New survey of adopted children revealed

    A new survey commissioned by Independent Adoption Agencies throughout England amongst adopted children has revealed that they are positive about their future, safe, and that they have an adult they could trust in their lives who sticks by them through life’s ups and downs. In these respects, adopted children are more secure than their peers.The study, which was conducted by researchers at children’s charity Coram, was commissioned by 29 Adoption Agencies in England.  A total of 95 children and young people were involved in the study which comprised an online survey, focus groups in Leeds, the East Midlands and London, and participation groups in the North East, Merseyside and the North West. Experiences and views of the group were brought together to create an animation, which can be viewed here.Findings were assessed against other studies of children’s satisfaction and wellbeing in England including the Good Childhood Report 2013 and the Children’s Commissioner’s Children in Care and Care Leavers State of the Nation Report 2014.The survey’s key findings were as follows:100% of adopted children agreed that they had an adult they could trust, who helps stick by then no matter what, compared to 88% who agreed to the same question in the Understanding Society survey 2010/1197% of adopted children agreed that their adoptive parents notice how they are feeling, compared to 71% of children who were surveyed for the Children’s Commissioner’s Report93% of adopted children agreed that their adoptive parents showed an interest in what they were doing at school, compared to 75% of children surveyed for the Good Childhood ReportWhen asked how satisfied they were with their life, 75% of adopted children scored medium to high on levels of satisfaction and 88% felt safe63% of adopted children felt very positive about their future, compared to only 46% of children in care or leaving care who took part in the Children’s Commissioner’s State of the Nation Survey​Dr Carol Homden CBE, Chief Executive at Coram, said: “This survey shows us that adopted children overwhelmingly feel that adoption has successfully provided them with a loving, stable home where they feel safe.“These children know they have adults they can trust in their lives and parents who are attuned to how they are feeling and show a demonstrable interest in their lives and they are more certain of this nurture than others their age.“Adoption is a transformational journey for children who have experienced profound adversity and enables them to become secure and confident.”Some comments from the children and young people from the study include:“I am happy I have a whole family who make me feel part of it, I'm happy the majority of the time, I have friends at school and feel accepted by everyone who knows I am adopted.”“A safer environment, a permanent area where I can grow as an individual”“I feel loved for and cared for. I can speak to my adoptive parent about most things”“I have a Mum and Dad who love me and want the best for me. They look after me and make sure I have food to eat and clean clothes. They take me to my sporting clubs and watch me play.”“Yes, my experience of adoption is amazing. I love my family to bits and alright some of the time people take fun out of you for being adopted but at the end of the day you were chosen to go live with the people and you are no different to anyone else. You should never see it as a bad thing. Just love life.”

  • 15th March 2016

    New research reveals public misconception about scale of abuse of children needing adoption

    New research undertaken by YouGov for Independent Adoption Agencies in England has revealed that people significantly underestimate the number of children in care and the reasons that result in them being removed for their own safety.Neglect and abuse are the primary reasons that adoption is decided on as the best placement option for a child, accounting for 70% of cases, but of those 2,000 people in the UK surveyed by YouGov, over three in five (61%) underestimated the significance of these factors.The research which was carried out to coincide with the first ever Big Adoption Day run by independent adoption agencies in England also showed that most people (24%) surveyed underestimated the number of children adopted last year, putting the figure at 2,500 children rather than at the actual 5,000.And, when given a list of the reasons why children are taken into care, two in five (43%) believed that having no parents to provide for the child would be one of the top three reasons when it is in fact one of the least common – the most common being neglect and abuse.Adoption has changed significantly over the past twenty years, as have the children who wait to be adopted.  They are primarily not “orphans” nor children placed for adoption because of societal pressure on their unmarried mothers.  Children are taken into care primarily because, sadly and for various reasons, they are not safe at home.  For some children where there is no realistic chance of returning home and being cared for safely, adoption is decided by the courts to be the best option for their long term stability and security.There is a continuing strong need for children to be adopted and to identify adopters who can help them to recover from their early experiences.   Independent Adoption Agencies have a successful track record of bringing together children waiting to be adopted with adoptive parents and helping the new family bond.  We are looking for parents who can understand and appreciate the challenges that so many of these children have experienced in their lives and provide the love and security children need in order to recover and form strong and healthy relationships and that children who have been adopted in the past tell us made all the difference to their livesOn the 16th March, there will be over 30 Big Adoption Day events across England, where prospective adopters attending will have the opportunity to meet adoption experts in an informal and friendly environment and further information can be found at First4adoption.org.uk/bigadoptiondayevents.  As well as being able to ask questions and gain a better understanding of the adoption process, potential adopters will also have an opportunity to find out more about the support services offered by each agency to help families bond and find out more about the needs of children who are waiting to be adopted.

  • 07th March 2016

    PACT calling for more LGBT adopters during LGBT Adoption Week 2016

    Parents And Children Together (PACT) is calling for more prospective parents to come forward during LGBT Adoption and Fostering week (7th – 13th March 2016).In 2015, 1 in 12 children England were adopted by same-sex couples. PACT actively recruits LGBT adopters in London and the South and 11% of those adopting with PACT in 2015 were LGBT.PACT LGBT adopter Amy* said: “In reality there was no prejudice regarding my sexuality. Don’t worry – children need loving parents, whether they are single or couples.  LGBT parents and children help form the diversity of life and make for inclusive families.”  PACT is particularly looking for adopters for ‘priority children’ who have been waiting the longest for their forever family. These children can be over four years old, in sibling groups of two or three, of black and minority ethnic background or have complex needs.PACT is holding an information event at it’s Brighton office on Monday 7th March. A PACT LGBT adopter will share their story and there will also be a presentation from a PACT social worker and an opportunity to ask questions informally.LGBT Adoption and Fostering week is organised by New Family Social, a charity that supports LGBT adopters and foster carers.PACT Director of Adoption Shirley Elliott said: “We are proud to be a member of New Family Social and delighted to be a part of LGBT adoption week. All of our LGBT adopters receive free membership to New Family Social.”“We know from experience that LGBT people often come to adoption with an open mind and real enthusiasm. There are very few barriers to adoption so I would urge anyone thinking about it to speak to us, download an information pack or come along to an event to find out more.”To find out more about adopting with PACT, visit http://pactcharity.org/adoption/about-adoption/lgbt

  • 04th March 2016

    A happier Mother’s Day for mums moving on after domestic abuse

    Parents And Children Together (PACT) is wishing a happy Mother’s Day to all the mums it has supported this year through it’s community projects.As well as being an independent adoption agency, PACT runs Alana House helping vulnerable women and Bounce Back 4 Kids (BB4K) helping families in West Berkshire and Oxfordshire affected by domestic abuse.One Mum helped by BB4K this year is Mandy*. Three years ago, after going to a refuge as a victim of domestic abuse, Mandy’s three sons were taken into foster care.Mandy worked hard with her social worker to turn her situation around and she and her youngest two sons were identified for a BB4K course. A BB4K course takes 10 weeks and uses therapeutic techniques to help children and their non-abusing parent come to terms with family breakdown. A children’s course and a parent’s course run simultaneously.Mandy’s sons have been back living with her for six months now and they completed the course in January 2016. She says: “Mother’s Day this year will definitely, absolutely be different to previous years.”“I have definitely seen an improvement down to BB4K. Their behaviour has improved, their emotional levels are down. At home the boys have learnt tools for if they feel anxious; they take themselves off and breathe. We have more understanding of each other.” ou can help transform Mother’s Day next year for a Mum affected by domestic abuse by volunteering to help with BB4K or making a donation towards its work. Find out more here.

  • 02nd March 2016

    PACT to cease intercountry adoption services

    Parents And Children Together (PACT) has made the difficult decision to withdraw from its intercountry adoption services from 1st April 2016.In light of the need for PACT to focus on its role within the Regionalisation Adoption Agenda and the current climate within intercountry adoption, PACT will sadly not be renewing contracts, with any local authority, when those in force end on 31 March 2016.PACT Chief Executive Jan Fishwick said: “PACT provides intercountry adoption services for 40 local authorities in the south and has helped hundreds of families over the years adopt children from overseas. It is with regret that we have made the difficult decision to withdraw from providing these services.“Adopting from overseas has become increasingly complex and, although PACT has become a specialist in this area, it has become necessary for us to focus all our efforts on developing a regional adoption agency alongside our partners from local authorities to help find more adoptive families for children in the UK.”

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