Life story work

Life story work is a method used to record the details about a child or young person’s history and personal development.

It is a record of a child or young person’s life in words, pictures and photos made by the child or young person with help from a trusted adult or other person having a meaningful relationship with the child or young person.

My Life Story Book has been developed to assist children and young people in out-of-home care develop a sense of self, in relation to their life experiences. It is a chronological account of the child or young person’s history, and should be started when the child enters out-of-home care and maintained throughout their time in care.

The Aboriginal version of My Life Story Book supports Aboriginal children in out-of home care in understanding more about their cultural identity and in developing a sense of connectedness to family, kinship groups and the community.

Benefits of keeping a life story book

  • working on the book together helps build a bond and develop trust between the child or young person in care, their foster carer and caseworker
  • the child or young person develops a stronger feeling of self identity and self esteem through learning about and accepting their past
  • the book “bridges the gap” between foster carers and parents when the child returns home, especially when parents feel they have missed out while their child has been in care
  • making the book helps the child distinguish reality from fantasy
  • the book allows the child or young person to ask their caseworker questions they may not have felt safe to ask before such as what their parents are like and why they are in care
  • the book ensures that details about the child or young person’s culture and religion are recorded

It is up to the child or young person to decide who to share it with and they should be encouraged to keep the book in a safe place.

The life story book stays with the child or young person when they return to their own home or go to another placement.

Download My Life Story book

Download My Life Story book - Aboriginal version

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To report suspected child abuse or neglect, call the Child Protection Helpline on 132 111 (24 hours/7 days)