Life story work has evolved over the last 40 years. It originally began as a way of helping children in the care system to develop a sense of identity and continuity. Life story work takes many formats from books, to later life letters and memory boxes.
Over the past 20 years, Family Futures has developed life story work as a therapeutic tool to help children resolve early trauma and form secure attachments with their adoptive parents and foster carers.
Family Futures has integrated ‘child celebration days’ into its life story work providing a source of information for the child and their family, and promoting the message that the child’s life should be celebrated.
Life story work is an innovative and exciting way for children, parents, carers, and their social workers, to look at the child’s history through a therapeutic lens.
Ideally, this work should be routine for all children during their childhood. In our experience, life story work can support children in making contact with their birth families. It helps to prevent some of the more extreme acting out in adolescence such as secret contact with birth parents on social media. Life story work helps to establish open and honest conversations, between young people, their adoptive parents and social workers.