The POTATO group

Cancelled LAC review.

Ever wondered how it feels to be on the receiving end of Social Care’s cancellations?

Our group is made up of functional families to traumatised and therefore dysfunctional young people. Several of these young people can’t manage family life so go into the LAC system often under section 20 where the parents hold full parental rights. Sadly, many social workers forget this part and don’t ask parental consent or share information adequately let alone having a genuine planning discussion with families. This drives a further wedge between parents and young person and harms all parties.

One member of POTATO group explains how tough it is, how unfair and what damage it causes to have a tick box approach.

Dear Children’s Services,
When you cancel a LAC review, to you it is just a cancelled meeting.
To us it is watching our hope of resolving current issues for our family disappear out of the door, again.
To you it is an unexpected bonus of a free diary slot.
For us it means a day’s pay lost for no good reason.
For you it might mean more time to gather papers and read reports.
For us it means longer to worry about and live with situations without resolutions or plans and a longer period of sleepless nights.
When our IRO (independent reviewing officer) changes, again, to you it is a tick in a box that we have an IRO.
For us it means going back to the beginning of our story, again.
We know that you have your challenges too but please take time to think about our side of the story, after all it is supposed to be a family centred service, with families at its centre.

LBC Interview, POTATO members

We have had a very busy week here in POTATO land, with interviews, pieces on TV, radio  and social media.

This interview was with two members of our group (using alias to protect their family identities.) Generally talking about some of the challenges many adoptive families face and the desperate need for relevant, robust support.

The lack of full disclosure from the local authority also features as does the love, warmth and sheer bloody minded fight to get what our traumatised adoptees need.

Please take the 25 minutes or so and listen.



Today is TV & Media day!

Founder member and chair of POTATO is to appear on the Victoria Derbyshire BBC2 programme.

Together with fellow experienced adoptive parents we explain that;

  1. We love our traumatised adoptees but sometimes it is too hard for them to manage in a family. Love isn’t enough on it’s own.
  2. Our families and adopted young people need specialist ongoing support.
  3. Adoptive parents need to be treated kindly by the services. In POTATO group we are kind.

Also, radio 5 are revisiting their file on 4 survey with one of our members speaking as a guest.

If you are an adoptive parents and would like to join our group:

  1. email our friendly administration support team
  2. please complete the membership form
  3. do pay the annual donation (currently £10) via paypal or BACS. Or £1 a month. Or donate a supplementary amount to support the work of POTATO group.
  4. Ask for a visit if you are unknown to group members.
  5. Enjoy a friendly visit and if desired join our hidden Facebook support group.
  6. further visits and socials, AGM and annual conference.

You can donate using PayPal

(We comply fully with Data Protection and any information will remain confidential unless there is a serious risk of harm)

Or it is easier and cheaper to donate directly to the POTATO account.

Here’s a message from our treasurer;

I would like to take the opportunity to remind there is an annual membership donation of £10 which could now be sorted by standing order or if you wish to be generous by a £1 a month direct debit.

The account details are :-


Sort code 09-01-28

Account number 90254012

Account name: The Potato Group

Children’s Society initiative

Our Chairperson has been in touch with the Childrens Society and because we have a lot of common ground we felt you all might like to get on board with their letter to your MP initiative.

An opportunity to get issues heard

Hi all,

Our latest Good Childhood report found that teenagers are coming under pressure in all areas of their lives. From parental illness to emotional neglect, living in a household struggling with bills to being afraid in their neighbourhood, the serious problems they’re facing are having a damaging impact on their well-being.

Faced with so many complex problems, it is vital young people get the help they need. But cuts to local services mean they often can’t access support until they have already hit crisis point, such as when they have run away from home or are dealing with drug or alcohol abuse.

Will you ask your MP to meet us to find out how they can take action to improve these young people’s lives?


Under pressure

Party conferences held later this month are an opportunity for us to get issues affecting young people heard by people in a position to change things. We will be at Conservative and Labour Party Conferences and we’d like to meet with as many MPs as possible.

Invite your MP to meet us to find out how they can help make sure support is available for young people dealing with serious problems.

Thank you,

Nicole Fassihi

Campaigns team

Last minute NVR course

We have been told that the PAC in London have some spaces for their NVR course starting on 18th of September.

PAC have some places on this 8 week Group for Adoptive Parents. It starts on September 18th!


Non Violent Resistance – NVR
8 Week Group Sessions 

Here are the screen shot details.

Researching adopted young people


Social Outcomes and Early Life Experiences:

Thoughts and Behaviour in Adolescence 


Researchers from the University of Manchester would like to invite you and your adolescent to participate in a new extension of the Social Outcomes and Early Life Experiences (SOCIAL) study

Children who have been adopted have frequently experienced a change in their primary caregiver i.e. they have moved to a new home and a new family.  Sometimes, they may also have had negative experiences in their very early life.

• We would like adopted children who are aged 11 to 16 years old and their families to take part in this research.

• Your child does not need to have experienced maltreatment or adversity to take part

• Your child does not need to be having social difficulties at the moment to take part

We are inviting all families who took part in the SOCiAL study to take part.

We are also inviting families who have not yet participated in the SOCiAL study to take part in the assessments detailed. For further information click this link


Section 20, please help the investigation.

The family rights group would like to hear from those involved in Section 20.

There's a significant group of Adoptive parents who have one or more young people who are unable to manage in a family.
Often, they end up in the position of asking for respite or a long term placement under a voluntary agreement with the local authority called section 20.

Here is a quote explaining who they would like contributions from:

We would like a range of individuals and organisations who have experience of, or have been affected by the use of, section 20 arrangements to contribute to the Knowledge Inquiry.

We would like to hear from:
• Children and young people;
• Parents;
• Kinship carers (also known as family & friends carers);
• Social workers and social work managers as well as other practitioners such as family support workers, contact workers and advocates;
• Foster carers;
• Lawyers; and
• Voluntary sector organisations, policy makers and academics.

Here is the link with instructions to follow

Blogging for Bamboo

Several members have submitted pieces and they have been accepted onto the Adoption Social website. 

We have had an excellent lot of feedback from these pieces, our most recent conclusion of the Bamboo Scaffolding set of pieces.

If you would like to be inspired or just get a deeper understanding of life with older ones who have suffered repeated early trauma, you can’t go wrong reading these.

Arts Pictures 

If you were wondering what sort of Art the Arts day is about- here are some pictures of the work produced.

(With permission of the artists.)

Arts Day

This weekend it is the POTATO arts day and several members are looking to attend with lots of creativity. We are a group that physically meets up as well as using our facebook and conferences plus individual face to face times.

It’s on the 24th of  June 2017 in the Sheffield area. There are a few spaces left if you are a member and would like to go. Just email us

Check out our website over the next couple of weeks to see photos.