PAC-UK Newsletter
A message from our CEO
The world of adoption and permanence is constantly developing and moving forward in terms of support services. At this time I am reflecting that, whilst there is much change in terms of services and support for adoptive parents and other permanent carers, we need to keep in mind how the needs of others, in particular birth parents, are impacted by adoption. This is something that PAC-UK is keen to address through the delivery of its services.

The government recently held a funding round for the Practice and Improvement Fund, which is aimed at inspiring the transformation of adoption services. PAC-UK and Adoption UK were successful in a bid to further develop our work on education on a wider geographic scale, building on the work we did in Yorkshire and Humber as funded by the Department for Education.

Adoption UK, in partnership with PAC-UK, also secured a further bid to receive funding for their Child on Parent Violence Project. The availability of funding from the Department for Education gives PAC-UK, and our partners, greater opportunity to see how we can further grow and deliver services more widely across England.

We are looking forward to our Adoption: Living Life to the Full conference in November which I encourage you all to attend. During the event, which is in collaboration with the Big Lottery Grant, we will be exploring the latest thinking in adoption support and discovering new ways in which we can help transform the lives of adoptive families.

I would like to welcome Andrew Christie in to his new role as Chair of the Adoption Leadership Board. A major agenda for the sector is how it can become inclusive of other forms of permanence, and I look forward to seeing how this develops over the course of this parliament with Andrew at the helm.

PAC-UK is also moving forward and investing in the future with the recent appointment of Adam Bell as Commercial Director. Adam, together with others in the Leadership Team, is tasked with helping PAC-UK consolidate its position as a sector leader and ensure all aspects of our work are delivered in ways that best meet the needs of our beneficiaries – anybody affected by adoption or other forms of permanence.

With all the change taking place on a government and grass roots level, I am confident that PAC-UK will continue to influence developments and growth in the adoption and permanency landscape, and extend our services outside the traditional boundaries of PAC-UK.

Peter Sandiford, CEO of PAC-UK

Reminder to Attend - Adoption: Living Life to the Full

We would like to remind everyone that our major conference on recent developments in adoption support is taking place on Tuesday 8th and Wednesday 9th November.

Attendees are invited to join us to celebrate adoption support services and the progress that PAC-UK has made with the generous five-year grant from The Big Lottery.

The day and a half long event will be led by Peter Sandiford, CEO of PAC-UK, and Professor Gordon Harold from the Andrew and Virginia Rudd Centre for Adoption Research and Practice.

The conference will see leading experts present the most recent research and developments as well as information about the practical support now available to families. Attendees will also have the opportunity to hear from families who are living life to the full and how they did it.

Attendees are invited to join us on Day One or Day Two (or both). For more information visit our website or contact us here.

Find out more on:
PAC-UK staff and current vacancies
PAC-UK services
PAC-UK training
How you can support PAC-UK
Adoption and government news
Frequently asked questions

Pupil Premium Plus: Spending it Wisely

26th September (London) &
27th September (Leeds)
Teachers, school staff and education professionals will benefit from this workshop that explores the Pupil Premium Plus landscape to demonstrate how this resource can be utilised in new and innovative ways.

The day will be packed with opportunities to witness examples of good practice and look at how schools can meet the emotional, social and educational needs of adopted, looked after and permanently placed children.

The PAC-UK Education Team will share helpful advice on how to engage with parents and carers about PP+ and the impact of effective interventions on children’s development and learning.

Life Story Work – The Child’s Own Story

12th October (London) &
13th October (Leeds)
Children’s understanding of their lives and the lives
of those closest to them is the key to accepting
who they are and moving forward from past experiences.

Life Story work is the process of assimilating past events and recognising the impact these have on self-image, self-esteem and sense of self. This training for parents and carers, with Professor Richard Rose, a world leading expert on Life Story work, will provide adoptive parents and other permanent carers with the skills and understanding to support your child in this process. Richard will explain how to communicate with children, address sensitive and painful issues and turn trauma and loss to acceptance.

Click here for more information
Click here for more information
Adoption Viewpoint
Viewpoint on Adoption from Andrew Christie, Chair of Adoption Leadership Board (ALB)

The ALB is a national board whose remit is to drive significant improvements in the performance of the adoption system in England. Andrew Christie, former Director of Child Services for the London Triborough area, discusses his objectives for the coming year as Chairman of the ALB.

I have taken on the role of Chair for the ALB at a crucial time for adoption support. There has been a huge amount of effort in developing services over the last twelve months, with significant additional investment in the way of the Adoption Support Fund and positive changes in legislation.

It is also a difficult time to take charge, with a worrying decline in the number of children for whom decisions regarding adoption is in their best interest. There is also a precedent to favour other methods as a solution to get more children into permanent placements over and above adoption.

In the coming months there are a number of tasks that I would like to action alongside my peers on the ALB:
  • There are major variations in what is happening in adoption across the country. I am keen to revive the relationship between the Adoption Leadership Board and regional adoption agencies, to agree on a nationally accepted standard of service and ensure arrangements are met and instigated.

  • We have welcomed investment in post adoption support, which has made a significant difference to adoption services across the board. However we can’t rely on these investments in years to come, which is why it is important that we spend the money we have now wisely, and create a sustainable arrangement when and if the funding is awarded elsewhere.

  • There have been significant developments in terms of the attention given to training and support in schools. We have made steps to ensure children feel supported, but we want to see how these strategies work in practice in a school setting.

I will be working closely with ministers over the coming months to urge them to action my objectives and ensure anyone affected by adoption feels supported on a national level.

To find out more about the Adoption Leadership Board click here.
Growth and Development of PAC-UK's Child and Family Services

PAC-UK's Child and Family Service has seen a greatly increased demand for intensive therapeutic family work and comprehensive assessments, due to local authorities continual access to the Adoption Support Fund. To respond to this demand, we have been adding new members to our Child and Family teams, both in London and Leeds.. As a result, 12 additional part-time professionals have joined PAC-UK, comprising therapists and psychologists with additional therapeutic skills to ensure high quality services.

Among the freelance psychologists, the Child and Family Service in London has worked with Non-Violent Resistance (NVR) specialist Michelle Shapiro, who has run two groups - 10 mornings each with 16 parents - together with members of the Child and Family team. Michelle has also been involved in providing individually tailored NVR sessions for families which became part of their intensive therapeutic family work at PAC-UK. The NVR groups and the NVR sessions have been welcomed by parents as an important addition to the therapeutic support they receive. There are firm plans to develop the NVR parent groups and therapeutic support in Leeds and the surrounding areas, following a successful bid in collaboration with Adoption UK.

The Child and Family team members continue to develop their knowledge and skills, with training in NVR, EMDR and DDP and Theraplay undertaken by a number of team members. In an important new development, the service is in the process of signing an agreement with the Anna Freud Centre in London for training on administering the ‘Story Stem Assessment Profile’ (SSAP) in Leeds. The SSAP is an evidence-based, non-intrusive assessment tool that helps to understand a child’s mental representation of attachment relationships.

Exciting times in Leeds

The Adopted Teens Identity (AT-iD) Project, which was covered in the June newsletter, has been a major achievement for the Child and Family Service. With funding from the Yorkshire and Humber Consortium, the project has been able to recently advertise for additional staff members in a bid to increase their presence and make the service known to increasing numbers of adoption and permanency teams in Leeds. Visit the AT-iD Project website for more information on available services and upcoming activity days. Recent activity days have included a graffiti in the woods workshop and rural retreat to La Rosa Campsite!

PAC-UK’s Leeds office building will be going through a period of transformation and refurbishment of its premises in the coming months, with a view to it becoming a welcoming and practically efficient space that delivers specialist therapy services to adoptive families, in addition to providing a therapeutic service in families’ homes. PAC-UK hopes the building will become a centre of excellence for adoption support within the region. Service users receiving adult counselling will also benefit from the new office space.

Enhancing PAC-UK Services

In order to enhance the Child and Family Service, as well as provide feedback to local authorities and other stakeholders, we have developed an online format for parent feedback, which parents will be asked to complete halfway through and at the end of their therapeutic journey.

We are also working on an online feedback format for children, which we hope will encourage more children and young people to fill in and provide invaluable feedback about the service they receive. This development fits well with the recent announcement by Ofsted which stated that children’s feedback with regards to accessing adoption support will be given greater focus.

Meet the Staff
Five Questions with Adam Bell, Commercial Director

What’s your role and responsibility at PAC-UK?

I am PAC-UK’s Commercial Director, responsible for managing all support services, from finance and HR to fundraising, business development and IT.

What does a typical day look like to you?

No two days are the same in the third sector and especially at PAC-UK.
Some days I could be travelling from London to the Leeds office to meet with our Service Managers or the Admin team, whilst on others I will be meeting our Head of Fundraising or discussing a local authority contract with our Business Development Managers.

My key objectives are to ensure seamless support for our service provision, enabling the organisation to deliver in line with its strategic goals and core activities and to recognise and evaluate growth opportunities. I work closely with the Service Delivery Director to ensure that all PAC-UKs employees are fully supported and their needs are met.

What attracted you to the role?

I have many years’ experience working for charities in senior operations roles combined with private sector experience in a number of industries. I was excited by the idea of joining PAC-UK, which makes a major contribution to adoption and permanency support through training, education and therapeutic services. I have a passion for this sector, and my experience can help PAC-UK grow and develop its innovative and quality driven services.

What impact does PAC-UK have on adoption?

As an adoptive parent myself, I understand that support services are enormously valuable for entire family units; adopted and permanently placed children, adoptive parents, birth parents, kinship carers and siblings. The process of adoption is, for most people, a life-long journey that can require a wide range of support which PAC-UK has tremendous experience delivering.

Every area of the UK needs a level of adoption support made available to them by the local authority, but some authorities are more prepared than others. PAC-UK has partnered with over 45 local authorities in London, Leeds and the surrounding areas to ensure anyone affected by adoption and permanency in those authorities has access to the services they need.

What do you do when you’re not working?

While I am passionate about the work I do, I look forward every day to spending some time with my wife and our two beautiful boys. I also love to cook (much to my wife’s delight!) and I do some ad-hoc life coaching which I find highly rewarding.

Team PAC-UK smashes £3000 target at RideLondon100!

On Sunday 31 July, our team of cyclists Frank Smith (pictured), Martin Land and Juho Lahdenpera, geared up to take on RideLondon100 2016. Starting at Olympic Park, the team pedalled their way through London and into the Surrey countryside following an impressive 100-mile route. The day was a huge success and despite the early start, a fantastic time was had by all.

PAC-UK would like to say a huge thank you to all those who donated and helped to raise an incredible £4,025 so far! You can still sponsor our 2016 team on their Virgin Money Giving Page.

An evening of music and laughter with Simeon Wood

On Friday 30th September 2016, you are invited to join PAC-UK’s Friends Group for an evening of music and laughter with Simeon Wood at Yorkshire Dance on behalf of PAC-UK’s Friends Group. The evening will be a wonderful blend of music from light classics, musicals, ballads & Celtic pieces interspersed with his infectious humour.

For more information and to book your concert tickets visit the PAC-UK Friends Group page.

Join the PAC-UK Regent’s Park 10k Team!

A reminder that this year PAC-UK will once again be entering a team of runners for the Regent’s park 10k run on Sunday 13th November 2016. All sponsorship money raised will go directly to the charity in the hope to beat last year’s impressive donations of over £1,250.

Participants are always welcome so if you think you’re up to the challenge and want to help us smash last year’s target then please email

Call for Runners: Brighton marathon – Sunday 9th April 2017

After the success of this year’s entrants, we are looking forward to participating in one of the UK’s favourite 26.2-milers, the Brighton Marathon, next year on Sunday 9th April.

We still have 2 spaces left for the 2017 event so if you or anyone you know would be interested in competing in the event and supporting a brilliant cause then please send an email to

PAC-UK launches new fundraising pack

We are pleased to announce the launch of a new fundraising pack to give everyone the chance to help those affected by adoption and other forms of permanent care. The pack includes hints and tips on how to get involved in raising money on behalf of PAC-UK, with helpful fundraising planners and sponsorship forms available to download.

The pack can be viewed and downloaded online here, or if you would prefer you would prefer a hard-copy to be sent to you in the post, please email We hope this pack inspires and helps you to have a successful and fun fundraising experience.

For more information on upcoming events and how to get involved click here.

Current Vacancies
We have several vacancies at PAC-UK in both our London and Leeds offices. If you are interested in any of our positions then click on the links below; please note that we do not accept CV applications so use the application forms provided.

Director of Service Delivery – Child & Family and Education Services
Salary: Up to £55,000 (depending on previous experience)
Working Hours: 35 hours per week
Location: London NW5 & Leeds LS15

Education & Wellbeing Worker
Salary: £32,254 - £35,404 (depending on experience)
Working hours: 35 hours per week
Location: PAC-UK Leeds Office, with travel across the Yorkshire & Humberside region

AT-iD Project Worker
Salary: £14,677 (full time equivalent - £29,355)
Working hours: 2.5 days per week
Location: PAC-UK Leeds Office, with some travel across the Yorkshire & Humberside region

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