May 2, 2024

CPT funds vital education support to 140 adopted children

“If schools can better understand the impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences and the time and specialist support required to address these, our adopted children will be more able to engage with learning opportunities and have a better chance of achieving their academic potential.” - PACT

The Charles Plater Trust (CPT) awarded adoption and family support charity PACT a grant of £41,190 last year to part-fund a specialist education worker to support the vital work being delivered by the charity’s Education for All schools’ programme.

Successful adoption placements bring considerable benefits to children, families and communities offering much-needed permanence to children and young people, providing better life outcomes, and enabling adopted children to flourish. A 2022 report from the Consortium of Voluntary Adoption Agencies (CVAA) highlights that adopted children experience better health later in life and have a lower risk of mortality than those in residential care with “better outcomes for children lead[ing] to greater value for society” -with a reported saving to the state of £1.3 million per adopted child.

Despite successful outcomes, adopted children often struggle in school settings as a result of early trauma and Adverse Childhood Experiences. The grant awarded by CPT is enabling PACT’s specialist education worker, Amy - a qualified teacher with more than 20 years’ experience in education - to provide expert support, advice, and training to schools with a PACT adoptive child on roll, encouraging adopted children in school to thrive.

Amy is both education professional and an adoptive parent and understands the emotional challenges that adopted children can experience at school. Collaborating closely with school staff and families she provides invaluable insight and training to uncover the root causes of disruptive behaviour, working with schools to discuss tools and strategies, review policies, and raise awareness of the impact of chronic childhood trauma on brain development and behaviour. Amy explains more:

“I work alongside schools to improve their understanding of developmental trauma and how this might affect a child’s behaviour within the classroom. I am able to offer information and support to families when embarking on the admissions application process, with helpful tips on finding the right school. The aim of this holistic approach is to try to ensure that families receive a ‘wrap around service’ so that their child or children feel happy and safe going to school, and ultimately achieve within their educational setting. This approach aims to help each child, whenever possible, to successfully access the school curriculum and better manage their school routine.”

CPT’s grant facilitates invaluable early intervention at a time when government funded services such as CAMHs are experiencing significant increases in referrals (a recent report from Young Minds highlighted a referral increase of +53% since 2019) and long waiting lists. Trust Manager Philomena Cullen visited PACT late last year and said:

“This is such an innovative service leading the way in putting the support in place for adopted children so that they have the same chance to succeed in school as their peers. You’d assume that this type of support was just provided to all adopted children automatically, but instead it’s left to charities like PACT to ensure the pathway is there for their full participation. We hope we can use the evidence from the project to advocate for statutory support for all adopted children and their families.”

PACT’s Adoption Service Director Lorna Hunt added:

"Thanks to the generous funding from the Charles Plater Trust, many more children will be able to flourish at school. We've already seen a significant impact from our specialist education worker, creating a safe and secure school environment where children can learn and thrive. This support from the trust is vital to ensure our adopted children have the opportunity to succeed."

Image: with thanks to PACT