Time to Talk is a telephone based - service available to any adoptive parents , but can also be accessed by young people where this is felt to be appropriate.

FREE Taster Sessions

As a  Families for Children adopter you can access  3 free sessions per adopter, and for young people we can look at applying for funding through the Adoption Support Fund or Local Authority.

In either case additional sessions can be purchased directly through FFC.

For non FFC families, you can contact us to discuss a referral.  The service will need to be paid for prior to being offered.

So, what makes Time to Talk work so well for adoptive families?

Well first and foremost – we understand adoption.  As an adoption specific counselling service we understand the huge challenges of parenting adopted children. We fully appreciate the attachment difficulties of adopted children and how this may manifest in the behaviour of the children towards their new families, and we understand the difficulties linked to education, peer group relations, and the frustration of accessing services for your adopted child.


Or it may be that you need more of mentoring service for those quite new to adoption who  may benefit from guidance and reassurance, or to receive help processing some of the overwhelming feelings and issues that are often experienced by adoptive parents.  As a young person, you may feel more able to talk to someone on the phone, when you might struggle talking with someone face to face.

The Time to Talk Service

3 fully qualified counsellors.  They are all members of BACUP (the counselling governing body) and have a variety of experience within adoption.  They have all undertaken adoption related training, and are able to offer a completely confidential, understanding, non-judgmental and empathic approach.  Service Users are matched to the practitioner who will best meet their requirements.  The sessions are 50 minute 1:1 telephone counselling sessions.

If you would like to be referred to our counselling service, you would need to contact us either through your current FFC Social Worker, or our Duty Social Worker if you don’t have an allocated worker or are from outside of the agency.


Holi Whitehead

Holi was instrumental in setting up the original FFC Counselling Service for FFC and has been offering counselling and support to adopters for the last 3 and a half years.  She is a qualified Counsellor with a post qualifying award in working with children and young adults. She has personal experience of the challenges of adoption, which gives her a valuable and unique insight into the issues that arise during her sessions with clients. As an adoptive parent Holi has undertaken extensive training in order to better understand the challenges her and other formerly cared for children face.  This includes: Dan Hughes Level 1 Attachment Focused Training,  Brian Posts “Great Behaviour Breakdown”, Bruce Perry “Working with Traumatised Children”, “Therapeutic Life Story Work” and “Early Life Trauma and Brain Development” (Family Futures). She is currently engaged in an “Understanding Autism” course with Kent University.

Holi’s role as an adopter has also given her extensive experience of advocating for the needs of formerly looked after children who find so many of the normal life activities so challenging such as school, social situations, relationships and the ability to self-regulate.  Her experiences have highlighted the current lack of support for adoptive parents personally and while undertaking counselling training it was her aim to be part of a service that addresses this issue.  Most adoptive parents take on one of the most challenging roles they will have ever experienced, and Holi passionately believes that they need support and understanding in their own right.  As a practitioner, Holi offers counselling, mentoring, and support from an experienced, non-judgmental, person centred and accepting approach to any clients with adoption related concerns.

Marie Potter

Marie is a BACP registered counsellor and holds a BA (hons) Degree in integrative Counselling.  Working as a counsellor in private practice across Dorset and Somerset as well as being a Specialist Support Mentor for both Bath and Bath Spa Universities, Marie joined FFC in Jan 2018 to help extend the telephone counselling service team.  Marie has over 17 years’ experience of working with children and adolescents having previously worked as a Nursery Manager, Foster Carer and Support Worker.  Marie brings first-hand experience of the struggles and demands of working with often very complex children from both a personal and professional prospective, with valuable insight into working with attachment issues, self-harm and sexual abuse as well as multi-agency collaboration.

Marie has undertaken training in a number of areas including Mental Health first aid, Autism, Attachment Theory, Sexual and Domestic Abuse, relationship based play, addictive behaviours, depression, anxiety and building self-esteem.  Marie is currently participating on an “Understanding Trauma, Treating Trauma and PTSC” Course


Louise Deane

Louise is a qualified counsellor registered with the BACP and HCPC.  She has worked with families and children for over 25 years in the social care sector, voluntary sector and mental health settings.  For over 8 years Louise worked in an adoption team where her role was focused on Post Adoption Support, besides becoming involved with adoptive families post-order, the work included letterbox and contact issues, working 3with schools and writing retrospective later-life letters.

Louise’s interest is working with adoptive parents as she long recognised adoptive parents lack of and need for, individual support. Louise knows that adopting a child has many of the same responsibilities as behaviour can be overwhelmingly confusing and challenging leaving adoptive parents differently impacted by the role in ways that other parents are not. Louise has DDP Level 1 & 2 certificates and has experience in working with adoptive parents some of whom have been introduced to attachment focused parenting.

She has also been part of delivering the Therapeutic Parenting programme offered by adoption agencies, based on the work of Dan Hughes and Kim Golding.  Louise has her own private counselling practice in South Devon, working with individuals as well as offering consultations to parents.  Louise’s values are rooted in the person centred approach where you will experience non-judgement, empathy and acceptance.

Please contact us for more details on 01364 645480