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Life Story Work

As every childcare professional will tell you, children in foster care often know very little about their own personal histories. Moving around or not living with their birth families can lead to low self-esteem and a lack of identity. When a child or young person loses track of their past like this it can make them feel unimportant.

FFI is committed to helping children make sense of their past, gain a balanced understanding of their present situation and plan for a healthy, stable future. Our life story work involves collecting and recording vital memories, photographs and achievements to build a picture of a child’s life history. It can include information about their birth family, foster families, support workers, schools, activities and achievements and it’s all carried out by a professionally qualified social worker or social care leader.

A well-researched life story comes with many benefits, including:

  • Enhancing self-esteem
  • Preparing a child for new relationships and minimising the trauma of transitions
  • Helping a child share their history with others
  • Resolving separation issues
  • Aiding the building of attachments and trust
  • Helping the child recognise and resolve emotions related to past life events

We find that building a life story takes up to eight sessions (six of them direct) with the child or young person. FFI will take care of Introductory letters and requests for information (letters, photos, reports, et cetera), file reviews and conversations with all of the relevant professionals who may have contributed to the child’s story.