Children in care may have experienced many changes of home, family and school. They may become confused about who they are and what has happened to them. Making a Life Story Book is a way of gathering and maintaining accurate information about a child. This helps the child to understand who they are and where they have come from. It also assists them to develop socially and emotionally. The Life Story Book will also be important for the child when they become an adult, as it provides information about childhood experiences and achievements.
A Life Story Book can contain:
- Report cards, awards and certificates
- Letters from parents and carers
- Maps, postcards or pictures of significant places where the child has lived or visited
- Photos of past and present family, carers, friends, pets, etc
- A genogram or family tree
- Religious and cultural information
Most importantly, the Life Story Book needs to include a written history of the child or young person’s life from birth to the present time.
Any information included in the Life Story Book will depend on the information available and the child’s wishes. Talk to the child’s Caseworker if you wish to develop or contribute to a child’s Life Story Book.
Your role in working on a Life Story Book:
The child is the only person who can decide who looks at their book, so please respect their right to privacy. In some situations, the child may wish to keep their own circumstances and possessions private. Generally, however, you’re the person who works with the child to record their life story because you spend the most time with them and have the opportunity to collect day-to-day information, such as photos and other memorabilia.
An example of a Life Story Book that has been developed by the NSW Department of Family and Community Services can be found at