The POTATO group

Welcome all Parents of Teens, Adopted in the UK

We are a UK based group of parents who have adopted our children from the looked after system in the past 20 years. All of our teenagers are incredible survivors who need specialist parenting which can be very hard going. Despite dealing with some heavy subjects, we like to meet socially and have a bit of relaxation with other parents who understand what we are facing. These pages are by way of an introduction to our group, our aims and an overview of what we do.   Our Group is a not for profit organisation committed to this community. Here is a brief (not exclusive) list of things POTATO group do.

  1. Demonstrate kindness to fellow adoptive parents of adopted young people in the UK by face to face, email and the private facebook facilities.
  2. Share our considerable expertise in areas such as housing, specialist schools/ colleges, mental health problems, therapy, addictions and other difficulties traumatised young people often bring into our lives.
  3. Several members are active in promoting good practice ideas and presenting to local and national authorities.
  4. Actively encourage “self care” within the membership, encouraging good physical and mental wellbeing in parents.
  5. Train & support volunteers and develop financially so we can cover volunteer expenses.
  6. Offer training to social care, education, social and health groups in life lived with adopted teens with practical strategies.
  7. Provide national events of interest for Parents of traumatised young people.

Blog Buster!

Thank you all for your warm support of our blog pieces. Our website traffic has increased and we have been getting lots of positive feedback.

The Adoption Social and The Open Nest have joined us in this venture. Please do check their websites for BLOG pieces and other information of interest to adoptive parents of traumatised young people.


Independence Day!

Well, not quite as it seems. More….Independence Day with frills….

POTATO group member parent writes about their incredible experiences of adoptive parenting and the wonderful experiences of encouraging and equipping their vulnerable young adult to move out.

YES! It can be done and there are some EXCELLENT tips in this Blog piece for parents looking ahead to moving our TATs (Traumatised Adopted Teenagers) on in a positive way.

Moving Home a DIY approach

Mental Health and staying in.

This blog piece is by a member of our group who has extensive experience of Mental Health issues within the family made up of adopted young people.

Fascinating insight into how it is to try and get adequate and appropriate let alone timely provision for them has been a long road.

This piece will help parents on a similiar track, but also help those who have been there make sense of some of their experiences.

Adoption social Mental Health inpatientbed search

Transference and an adoptive parent.

This week we have a blog post written by a group member who has experienced transference, in relation to her teenage daughters.

We have had a lot of positive feed back from the first blog post in association with The Adoption Social and the Open Nest. This piece the next in the series from The POTATO group. 

There’s a lot of learning in here, not only personal experience of one member. 

Transference Blog Piece.

New venture with a BLOG.


Good afternoon everyone.

We are very excited to announce that we have begun a regular weekly blog of: articles, reflections, blog diaries and information contributed by our members. This is mostly to families who are host to young people who have had early trauma and been adopted and their friends.

Every week we will write a piece for publication with The Adoption Social in association with The Open Nest.

Our first blog piece is by our Chair, June. She has written a thought provoking and reaction-giving article, particularly in reference to the recent Radio 4- Justice McFarlane piece. She challenges the language that social care and other organisations use when referring to us adopters, our young people and our circumstances.

We would be really interested to see what you think. By all means comment in the box below, or email us

Is there something you would like to see written about? Anything you want to submit?

If you are a member, come and discuss it with us on our Facebook group, or you can always Tweet us @thePOTATOgroup.


Time out! It’s Mother’s Day

As Mothers Day can cause a lot of upset for families with traumatised adoptees in them we have decided to have a TIME OUT event. The adoptee might be making you upset, grumpy and hopeless. You have been firmly naughty stepped for being called MUM. 
So as the mum’s who are on the naughty step, we encourage you to disobediently have a lovely treat whatever your young persons challenges may be.
This event has to be a time for Mum to do what SHE chooses for at least 30 minutes (ideally an hour). If your adopted person isn’t in contact with your family, please take some extra time out. 

Including the ever popular ideas of drinking, eating and erm, drinking and eating. Here are some other ideas:

Just take a selfie or picture of what activities you’ve chosen for your TIME OUT.

Introducing the 2016 AGM.

img_9109Its lunchtime and before you tuck into your sandwiches, pop an email across to getting your name down for our annual meeting. We will email you with all the details of the day we cannot put here for security reasons.

If you are going to Birmingham for the adoptionuk conference on the 19th of November 2016 maybe book another night in the hotel and come along in the morning to our mini conference.

On Sunday the 20th of November, from 9 until 1, you’ll hear all about what POTATO group do and what sorts of things we want to aim for in the year to come.

If you are a member already you can come along for free and you get to vote. Information about the steering committee volunteer positions can be sent to you on request.  To become a member email us, fill in the membership form and pay the annual £10.

We would like to welcome as many members as possible on the day but if you have a question or idea and cannot attend, please do email us between now and the 18th November 2016.

Our whole group want you to feel as included as possible and that your thoughts, ideas and experiences matter so if you can possibly attend it would be fantastic to see you.



What we are on about when we say “traumatised adoptees”.

There are some mistakes folk make when talking about traumatised kids, really it boils down to not wanting to think too much on the awful stuff that happens to children in this day and age.

To address some of these misconceptions and to inform the public at large, the open nest adoption support charity have made a series of short films.

This one is called “The Lost Children of Trauma”. 

Legal People- fabulous free resource

Legal people! Have a free, comprehensive resource on resolution and family law conference on us!

Links and Resources Page 


Independent Reviewing Officers Conference (NAIRO)

Good morning everyone, its the day of the NAIRO conference today and POTATO group are there, talking with IROs and sharing with them the realities of life with traumatised adopted young people.

It may come as a surprise to some that around 3-5% of young adoptees have found family life too hard and need more than a family can offer. There are many reasons for this but it is true that the numbers of children going into the care of social services from adoptive homes goes up ten fold in teenage years (Selwyn et al “Beyond the Adoption Order” 2014.) Most end up in section 20 looked after care. This is where the parents retain full parental rights (PR) but have asked the local authority to look after their young person.

Because of this, every young person has a review with an IRO present. They also have a right to a social worker and an independent advocate.

For more information about section 20 and retaining PR check out the information provided by Family rights Group

We have written an information document for IROs use, giving out copies at todays conference. Please see our Links and Resources page for more information.