FtSE Member News: PACT launches Dual Approval scheme to help find new homes for older children in care
PACT’s plan is to dual-approve carers to both foster and adopt and provide a home for older children who need extensive therapeutic support before they can be permanently adopted.
Satwinder Sandhu, PACT Director for Adoption and Fostering, unveiled the scheme today (5th July) at BAAF’s Conference on Concurrent Planning in London.
He explained that PACT’s dual approval scheme aims to help the older children in care, from around age six upwards, who are unlikely to be adopted and may need extensive therapeutic parenting before adoption can be considered.
PACT recruits people with the skills and experience to love and nurture children with complex needs who can, in time, become a permanent member of their family.
Satwinder said: “The dual approval scheme run by PACT can offer older children in care a successful route to a forever family, even when their age or needs deter prospective adopters.
“PACT’s extensive therapeutic services, FACTS (Fostering and Adoption Consultation and Therapeutic Support), have helped severely traumatised children to express their feelings, come to terms with their early life experiences and to ultimately form successful attachments with their new carers.
“When the bond is strong enough and the child is ready, PACT’s team guide the family through the steps to adoption.”
Luke & Giselle Taylor, who have been just been approved by PACT to long term foster as part of the dual approval scheme are ideal candidates for this new approach. Mr Taylor has been a step dad to the two older teenage children in the family, and the couple have a birth son age 12.
They are very nurturing people with excellent parenting skills. They also have lots of experience, through Mr Taylor’s work as a vicar, of supporting parents and children struggling with various emotional and practical issues.
Gisele said: “We are keen to use our skills and experience to help a child who isn’t able to be adopted at this time and needs specific support and care to bond and consider becoming part of a family in the long term.
“We have seen through our own eyes the effects of trauma on innocent children who haven’t been adequately cared for and the negative effects on their outlook on life.
“But I also know that the right support and intensive care can make a huge difference, and if Luke and I can help just one child, we’ve got to do it.”
She added: “It’s going to be a huge challenge to foster an older child but we are confident that being part of PACT’s team as foster carers, and with their access to expert therapy services, we will have the back up we need to cope.”
Other speakers at the conference were: Margaret Adcock, Social Work Consultant; Alexandra Conroy-Harris, Legal Consultant, BAAF; Elaine Dibben, Adoption Development Consultant, BAAF; Karen Devine, Service Manager, Adoption & Permanence Service, Brighton & Hove City Council; Dr Carol Homden, Chief Executive, Coram; Jeanne Kaniuk OBE, Head of Adoption & Permanent Families Service, Coram; Perspectives from Concurrent Adopters
PACT is a member of the CVAA, Consortium for Voluntary Adoption Agencies.
For more information about PACT’s fostering and adoption services, including Dual Approval, phone 0800 731 1845, visit the website www.pactcharity.org or come to a PACT Information Evening on Tuesday 17th July at St Saviours Church, Pimlico, London at 6.30pm, Wednesday 5thSeptember at RISC, Reading at 6.30pm, or Wednesday 26th September at The Brix, St Matthew’s Church, Brixton at 6.30pm.
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