Life Story work is used to gather and record information about a child or young person’s family, community and personal life journey. It helps them develop a sense of their own identity. It can also be used as a great source of information about childhood experiences and achievements.
At Swan Family Centres, we have implemented Life Story Work by creating a journal for all children that visit our centres. We have specifically trained staff in Life Story Work too which makes it easier to assist the children in doing this activity.
Life story work is an important way of helping a child to integrate their past into the present, in order to help them to move into the future and therefore those that live with them, have the opportunity to know about their past.
Our contact centres refer to them as the children’s contact books. They are completed by our contact workers after the sessions. It is a form of continuing care that once the children no longer has contact sessions at the centre, the books are passed onto the social worker and other necessary parties who will keep them with their life story folder that follows them. Our contact workers will write observations of events and memories that took place during the child’s visits for example, an important birthday, first steps, first meeting with family members, Christmas, a certain activity that the family does together etc.
They will write a brief observation of what happened and where possible add a photograph of the activity!
Lucy Glass, Director of Contact Centres said: “The biggest thing we have learnt as a team is that some children spend so much time at the contact centre and it’s really important for their memories to be captured and shared. Social workers have also complimented staff on the way these have been completed too.”