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Funding awarded to Family Action for PAC-UK to expand FamilyConnect  

01 May 2024

FamilyConnect is an informative website first launched by Family Action in 2020, with support from Julia Feast OBE and UCL’s MIRRA Project, to help adults who have been adopted or in care find answers to questions about their origins.

Finding out about their background and family members can help people understand inherited health risks, make important life choices and understand more about why they were separated from their birth family. Lots of people aren’t aware of their legal rights when accessing their birth and care records, or what they can expect to receive and how to go about searching for information in the first place. FamilyConnect helps people explore these issues, providing step by step information, guidance, support and signposting to help.  

We are delighted to announce that, following a recent funding award from Adoption England for an 18 month pilot, FamilyConnect’s offer regarding access to information and services for adult adoptees, their descendants and birth parents/relatives who wish to reconnect with each other will be improved. 

 

Delivered by Family Action’s adoption support agency, PAC-UK, FamilyConnect will now include:  

  • A specialist telephone advice line that will provide information about services that can be accessed and whether any funding is available to help with this 
  • Development of new areas on the FamilyConnect website where birth parents/relatives and professionals can access information and resources 
  • Funding* for intermediary services for adoptions that took place between 1949 and 1976, the period during which the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights acknowledged the right to family life had been violated for many thousands of unmarried mothers. 

*We invite expressions of interest for funded intermediary services, which due to the amount of funding available we may need to prioritise on the basis of age, life threatening illness, income and/or previous access to intermediary services depending on the number of people who come forward for support. 

 

Sir David Holmes CBE, Chief Executive at Family Action, said: “I am delighted that due to this new funding from Adoption England, our PAC-UK service can now expand our FamilyConnect service through the provision of this important pilot. We will do everything we can to ensure that the funding improves access to information and services for adult adoptees, their descendants and birth parents/relatives. The pilot will also help us to understand more about the numbers of people who need this type of support.   

“FamilyConnect is a ground-breaking and vital service for individuals who may be struggling to come to terms with the past and who are searching for answers and connections. With this pilot, and particularly the funding for intermediary services, we will be able to help many more adult adoptees, their descendants and birth parents/relatives who wish to reconnect with each other before it is too late.”  

Mike Hancock, PAC-UK National Strategic Lead, said: “FamilyConnect will now be a one stop point for information and funding around intermediary and other services for adult adoptees and birth relatives. PAC-UK is really proud to be entrusted with some funding for services to reunite those separated by adoption in the pre-1976 period.” 

Julia Feast OBE, said: “In times when services are diminishing and resources are hard to come by, it’s fantastic news that Family Action has been awarded funding to further develop FamilyConnect. It will be so good to see this enhancement of the much-used FamilyConnect website and  that there is a pilot to make intermediary services more available. Many adopted people and birth relatives from 1946-76 have not been able to access intermediary services, partly because services are scarce, but also because they are unable to afford the costs. FamilyConnect provides a much needed glimmer of hope for them.”  

For more information, including current advice line opening times:  

Visit: www.familyconnect.org.uk

Email: [email protected]  

Phone: 0300 1800 205