Life Story Works

 

BABIES NEEDS

LIFE STORY WORK

v

THE REASONS WHY

This is the heart of the book and refers to Difficult Stories.  Explain what role social workers, judges and foster carers do and what adoption means. See our Useful Links Templates for ideas on how to do this.  Enclose a letter from the foster carer, if you can. and a few photos of time spent there with key memories and facts about this period. Show that time was passing and attempts to return your child to birth parents had failed. Mention that none of this was the child’s fault and that decisions were made by ‘professionals’ and not the birth family (if this is the case) or the adopters.  You may want to write something like: Professionals thought ...child’s name... did not have the time to wait for his/her parents to learn to be able to look after him/her safely, and all children deserve to have a safe childhood and adoption is one way to create this.

  1. Bullet    Find pictures on the internet to illustrate these pages. You can always brighten text and add borders.


  1. Bullet    See this  Your Life in Seasons.pdf as an example. It can be used to represent how little time they spent in care compared to their adoption. See template in USEFUL LINKS for a downloadable version. But you can involve the child in making the images for the seasons.


  1. Bullet    Play with model towns/villages to physically represent their moves and the significant physical moves they may have experienced e.g. from hospital to home to foster home to adoption.  We might have also a Social Service office and a court in the toy town.  Furry animals can be used to represent the moves as people.  Sylvanian toys are particularly helpful for representing different family cultures if they have had cross cultural placements or live in or come from a family which is racially mixed.

THE REASONS WHY?

DIFFICULT STORY

PAGES TO INCLUDE:

  1. Bullet   THE DIFFICULT STORY - refer to DIFFICULT STORIES for

        specific child friendly explanations of: drug abuse, mental health

        or harm to self/others.

  1. Bullet    THE JOB OF A FOSTER CARER, SOCIAL WORKER & JUDGE.

  2. Bullet    FOSTER CARER(S) - details and images (include letter).

  3. Bullet    SOCIAL WORKER - Images and also include the later life letter.

Why a child was adopted needs to be handled honestly in a child friendly way. The Child Permanency Reports (CPR formerly Form E) and social work records are essential to write this section. Tell the story as is read in the file as simply and non emotively as you can. You can ask to see the records concerning your child as this section needs to provide real examples of what led to your child coming into care and not abstractions. Make attempts to show (where revealed) that there were positive aspects to the parent and that the decisions that got made about removing the child were those of the social workers and judges.  Go to the relevant DIFFICULT STORIES section for ideas.


This section is mainly writing. If you can find pictures that do illustrate an aspect of the problem then do use them.

PHOTO OF BIRTH PARENT

PHOTO OF BIRTH EXTENDED

FAMILY

THE JOB OF A SOCIAL WORKER, FOSTER CARER & JUDGE

You can ring foster carers if there is not enough about them in the Memory book, or the file, to get edited highlights of the child’s time there. Include a selection of photos of them with the child.  Include an account of first steps, first words or funny, affectionate anecdotes of the child as a small baby here if this is where they were. You can phone or write to the foster carers and ask them if they can write a letter about this.

        They usually have a box of memories and you can put images of a treasure chest to brighten things up.

          You can google their addresses and put a picture of where they lived if you want to put this in. You could put their address in too.

FOSTER CARER

SOCIAL WORKER

Put pictures of the social worker in this part as often even if very young [under 3] the child may retain an image or memory of the social worker who moves them from foster care to adoption. They may also know the social worker who supports the adoptive family so a picture of her too can be helpful.  If a social worker has worked with the child creating this book you can put a photo in. Or if you have the family finder you can put this in if you think it is appropriate. There are two types of social workers; a social worker who is a family finder  and the child’s own social worker.

FOSTER CARER





First words, 
steps, teeth, 
funny things....

TRY TO INCORPORATE REAL PHOTOS WHERE POSSIBLE

PHOTOS WHERE POSSIBLE

SOCIAL WORKERS





Describe 
their role in 
relation to 
the child’s life.

TRY TO INCORPORATE REAL PHOTOS WHERE POSSIBLE

PHOTOS WHERE POSSIBLE

Foster carers are people who look after other people’s children when social workers think they are not safe enough with their birth mummy’s and daddy’s.  Children live with foster carers until they go to get adopted or go back to their birth parents.


A social worker makes sure that children are safe and not in any danger from living with their parents.  They also have to make plans for the future for children with the help of the judges in the courts.  The social workers job is also to try to help parents to look after the children better. If the parents cant do it in time for the child then social workers need to find adopters for them.


A judge is a man or woman who works in a court and decides if the social workers have made the right decisions for the child.   The judge is the person who gives the adoption order to the new parents.

WHOSE IN CHARGE

Illustrate with a picture of a judge

You may put pictures of the social worker at the time

LIFE STORY BOOK CONTENTS