It has been an action packed 2018 for PAC-UK’s service delivery teams. Following on from our third consecutive ‘Outstanding’ Ofsted rating (awarded at the start of the year), we have continued to develop and adapt our services to meet your needs. Below is an update from each service containing recent developments and a heads up on new services which are coming soon.
We are happy to confirm that all our current Service Level Agreements with Local Authorities in and around London have been renewed this year, including the three consortiums that we work with: the North London Consortium, the East London Consortium and the Tri-borough. We are also pleased to report that Croydon have now added a monthly outreach surgery to their service level agreement, bringing a much needed local service to the residents of Croydon. This means that our highly experienced team of adoption counsellors continues to provide services across London and the outlying counties.
The addition of a new Practice Manager, Judith Ellis means we have been able to develop initiatives in providing services for Special Guardians and those who work with them.
Responding to local authority requests we will be hosting a number of topic based coffee mornings for Special Guardians in a number of boroughs in and around London- including ‘Family dynamics and managing contact’ and ‘What is therapeutic parenting?.’
For social workers the team have delivered two popular trainings ‘Assessing the emotional capacity of prospective adopters and Special Guardians’ and ‘Enabling effective contact for Special Guardian and kinship carers’ across the country. We continue to offer professional consultations for social workers with complex cases. We met a number of requests for ‘second opinion assessments’ of prospective adopters and prospective special guardians, where an independent view has been sought by the local authority.
The Adult Services Team continues to deliver the Enhancing Adoptive Parenting Programme one to one in the family home or via Skype. The demand for this service has increased incrementally each year, and has been funded consistently by the ASF, at least 10 families will have benefited from this programme in 2018. We have been able to support these early intervention programmes with counselling, advice and support for adopters and Special Guardians on an individual basis to reinforce the stability of the placement, and offer continuity for those who have been referred to us as prospective parents and carers and will benefit from ongoing support.
We continue to work with birth parents through our local surgeries and our long standing support groups. We will also be offering a birth parent group in Essex as part of our SLA. Our ‘Assertive Outreach’ programme commissioned by Essex, the North London Consortium and the East London Consortium allows us to reach out to birth parents pro-actively through phone calls, social media, and home visits to support them over time to be able to access the services on offer. We continue to work alongside PAUSE in some boroughs to help their service users’ access a counselling service when they are ready.
The Leeds Adult Service has continued to support all adults affected by adoption. There has been a steady rise in the number of Relatives of Deceased Adopted People accessing adoption records and requesting an intermediary service since the change in the law in 2015. A well-attended “Reunion and Beyond“ workshop was held for adopted adults and we hope to put on more in the future.
Our new Birth Parent Worker in West Yorkshire, Denise Smalley, has been busy making links particularly on behalf of our Leeds Birth Parents Group. Working with women from the ‘Mothers Living Apart from their Children’ group in Huddersfield, members are becoming involved in adopters’ preparation for One Adoption West Yorkshire to give voice to the experience of the birth parent. Leeds Beckett University Social Work Department are also interested in members of the group becoming involved in their curriculum.
We are now able to offer adopted adults, as well as birth parents, a search and intermediary service, either funded by their local authority or at low cost for those funding themselves. We have also created the opportunity for those wishing to have long term therapy at PAC-UK the option of being able to do at a reasonable cost, as a continuation of shorter term counselling, if appropriate.
The Advice Line continues to deliver the same high standard of advice and support despite the increase in demand.
Please visit our Adopted Adult Support, Adopted Parent & Carer Support and First Family Service for Birth Parents & Relatives pages for more information on available services and contact us if you have any questions.
PAC-UK’s Child and Family Service has continued to experience high demand for all of its services, with most families seeking intensive therapeutic work and psychological assessments.
We were very pleased with the response to ‘What post-adoption support do families really need?’ survey which was designed by the Child and Family Service. It added to our insight into the needs of adoptive and special guardianship families and generated ideas regarding possible future services PAC-UK could offer.
A successful grant application to the People’s Postcode Lottery, made by PAC-UK’s fundraiser Kate Newton in the spring of2018, will allow us to produce web based series of short videos (+/-15 min) that will support the ‘Enhancing Adoptive Parenting’ programme. The videos will be available this autumn; they build on the organisation’s growing digital output.
Since securing a 18 months grant from the DfE in 2016 to develop specific services that address Child to Parent Violence (CPV), the Child and Family Service has run 11 very successful CPV Parent Groups, underpinned by NVR (‘Non Violent Resistance’) for parents in different parts of London, Bradford, Tees Valley and Leeds!
The next London CPV Parent Groups will take place in Merton and in King’s Cross, starting in October 2018 and will be available for online booking on our NEW Child to Parent Violent Services page.
We have recently won a contract with Adoption Counts RAA North West. This is to provide 3 CPV Parent Groups in Greater Manchester over a 1 year period commencing in October 2018. In addition to this, we will be delivering CPV services in Newcastle and Northumberland in the autumn.
PAC-UK can deliver CPV Parent Groups nationally. If you are an adoptive parent, permanent carer or social worker and this is something that would be of interest to you, please email Jo Mitchell at firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange an informal discussion.
We are working closely in the North to develop a menu of services across the VAA/ASA agencies that support One Adoption. Once this has been completed, details of the services and what they have to offer will be uploaded to One Adoptions website to enable families to access via this route.
PAC-UK’s Education Service has had a busy and exciting few months which has seen the launch of their e-learning programme, therapeutic programmes for education providers (including Dramatherapy), development of training for Initial Teacher Training providers and the end of our extremely successful DfE project.
The Education team have also been working with Virtual Schools and Designated Teachers to help prepare them for their new remit: From September 2018 VSs and DTs will be responsible for adopted and other permanently placed children, in addition to their current remit of looked after children. This is a hugely positive step forward in ensuring support for our children, highlighting their needs and supporting education providers to meet these needs.
PAC-UK’s Education Service is extremely proud to be able to offer a range of specialist education services to support education professionals, parents, carers and local authorities and we continue to build and develop our service alongside the changing landscape of education for adopted and permanently placed children.
PAC-UK and Adoption UK’s Peer Services provide one-to-one family support, as well as training programmes - all delivered by qualified and experienced adoptive parents.
Our Parent Consultant Service is for adoptive parents, Special Guardians or carers, at any stage of their adoption journey, who are experiencing challenges or difficulties. Unlike most therapeutic and support services, our Parent Consultant Service is provided remotely by telephone.
All of our Peer Training courses and workshops are delivered by experienced, qualified trainers who are also adoptive parents. Parenting our Children is Adoption UK’s cutting edge, therapeutic parenting programme now being delivered by PAC-UK. It is a research-based, six-day programme of support, for up to 16 parents. Parenting Our Teens is a unique four-day training programme for parents of adopted teenagers run by PAC-UK working with Adoption UK.
All of our courses and workshops can be commissioned by local authorities or agencies and can be run on weekdays or Saturdays.
Every year PAC-UK offers a comprehensive training programme focusing on adoption and permanent placement specific topics. Some of these workshops and seminars are for professionals only, and some are specifically for parents and carers. Public seminars and conferences are open to all parties affected by adoption and permanency, including professionals.
We are delighted to confirm ‘'Living with an angry child' (facilitated by Holly van Gulden) will be taking place in Leeds (6 November) and London (7 November). This public seminar will teach the psychology behind anger and how it tends to play out in children.
Internationally renowned speaker and trainer Holly van Gulden brings together her professional expertise and personal experience to illustrate these issues for parents and professionals, offering them practical techniques to help adopted children. Places are strictly limited so early booking is strongly advised.
Other upcoming PAC-UK Training 'Workshops for Adoptive Parents & Carers' include 'Building and sustaining resilience through active self-care' and 'Sensory processing and attachment intervention for neglected and abused children.'
Upcoming PAC-UK Training 'Workshops for Professionals' include 'First family - working effectively with contemporary birth parents' and 'Assessing emotional capacity in prospective