PAC-UK (Part of Family Action)

Family Action (non-profit organization in the UK and Wales) provides effective and innovative services across the UK to transform lives through practical, emotional and financial support. Some of the key services Family Action provides include:

    • support for children living under the guardianship of the State;
    • family support work for families with multiple and complex needs;
    • therapeutic services for children and adults;
    • support for the emotional health and well-being of children and adults;
    • children’s centres and childcare services;
    • guidance and accompaniment services covering a variety of topics, including abuse;
    • training and advisory service;
    • support for families with children with disabilities or special educational needs

PAC-UK has more than 30 years of experience supporting people involved in adoptions and other forms of ongoing care. Its career enjoys international prestige, with a variety of services ranging from counselling to those who choose to adopt, to the accompaniment in origin-seeking processes. For this project, it is particularly relevant to their experience in training professionals, particularly educators in relation to the effects of trauma and the implementation of strategies to support vulnerable children in schools, which develops both in terms of in-person as well as via e-Learning activities.

Rebecca Wilkins has worked for more than seven years in primary and secondary education. Having gained her postgraduate teaching qualification in 2010, Rebecca gained a wealth of experience as a secondary school teacher in the North West. During this time she implemented transition and mentor schemes; was responsible for raising attainment throughout the school; led whole-school CPD and pastoral support for Key Stage 3. Currently Rebecca works within PAC-UK’s Education Service delivering training and consultation to assist with the understanding of the effects of early trauma, loss and attachment difficulties on adopted and permanently placed children in school.

Helen McConnell Helen is an experienced teacher. Having completed a BA in drama and a postgraduate teaching qualification she taught in secondary schools for seven years. Helen has worked across the field of education with pupils in secondary and primary as part of transition schemes and nurture groups, working with children with a wide range of abilities and needs. Since joining PAC-UK in 2015 Helen has worked passionately as part of the education team to raise awareness of adoption based difficulties in education, and worked with schools and families to provide support and evidence based strategies to meet the needs of young people of permanence struggling in education.

Jo Mitchell (PAC-UK Regional Manager North). Jo is an experienced Child & Family Therapist and Social Worker. Jo has also previously been a Head of Service (PAC-UK Child & Family Service North) and Adoption Manager. Jo holds a PGCert in Psychotherapeutic Counselling and has also trained as an EMDR Practitioner. Jo has completed further training in Developmental Dyadic Psychotherapy (DDP) with Dan Hughes, Dissociation with the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation, Theraplay© and MIM (Marschak Interaction Method) assessments as well as Systemic Family Therapy and NVR (Non Violent Resistance). Jo has been the National Lead for the DfE in developing a regional and national Child to Parent Violence Service. Jo has trained as a Parent Adviser delivering the Enhancing Adoptive Parenting Programme (EAP) as well as training professionals in EAP. Jo is a qualified Practice Teacher and NQSW Mentor/Supervisor. Jo enjoys working collaboratively with parents and extending  support to include external and significant people important to the family. This has led to extensive work in schools where Jo has worked for several years with teaching and non-teaching staff to educate in attachment and developmental trauma theory as well as looking at creative ways to enhance the school experience for adopted children.