Life Story Work
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Could you adopt Malachi?
We are looking for a new family for Malachi. Could you be his new family? Why not find out more?
A number of years ago my Grandmother died. In a precious chest, deep in her wardrobe we discovered a collection of photographs. Many of these were portraits of rather stern looking Victorian ladies. The sadness came when we failed to be able to identify many of them. Both my grandparents came from large families, both had eight brothers and sisters, many of whom I had only met when very young and now there was no-one I could ask to find out who they were. I felt a small part of me, and the history of my family had been lost forever.
For many adopted children large gaps in their history brings heartache, uncertainty and doubt concerning their identity. For many very happily adopted children who have moved into adulthood the questions about their origins and early life linger. Some of these questions may never be answered, there may not even be an answer, but it is up to adoptive families and social workers to ensure that they do not inadvertently contribute to this lack of information. Many can so easily do so by not recognising the importance of recording the important and the less important facts and stories of their origins and early life.
For social workers this life story work is an essential part of preparing a child for an adoptive family. For prospective adoptive parents life story work may not have even crossed their mind. Some may want the child to know only of life in their family, and to forget their earlier years. Adopters may be able to do this but the adopted child will almost certainly want the adults around them to gather and store this information, along with any possessions and pictures from this time in their lives. Particularly if they were too young to remember much of this time themselves.
There are a number of tools that can be used to help in the creation of a child's life story. The interactive CD's now available make this activity fun and provoke new ideas about how and what can form part of a child's life story.