As the carer, you have an important role in helping the child nurture their identity and form a strong sense of who they are. A critical way of doing this is keeping a story of their life while they are with you.
It doesn’t matter if the child is in your care for a short or long time. Their time with you is now a part of their life story and memories and experiences will be formed. Recording these as they happen can be incredibly beneficial to the child as they grow older. Think of this as building a memory box they can look through at different times of their life to remember important moments and people that shaped who they are and depict their life’s history. It is important the child is actively involved in recording their life story to help build their sense of self and identity.
There are many things you can do to record the child’s life story. It is a good idea to:
- Set up a dedicated a folder or a box to store the child’s important documents and information. Keep it in a safe place and add information as you receive it, like medical records, school information, birth certificate, Care Plans and Annual Review Reports.
- Start a scrap book or folder for the child’s memories to build on. If the child is very young you may like to start by including photos or writing in special moments or milestones they reach. As they get older, the child could include their own information about special events, favourite things and other information that is special to them.
- Take photos of the child and your time together. Give them their own copy to keep and add to their scrap book or folder. This can include photos with their friends, you and your family, at school, sports, special events and excursions.
- Keep a collection of the child’s drawings, school books and things that are special to them.
- Think about recording your own memories with the child and writing these down, like in a letter or diary, to give to the child when they become an adult.
The Life Story Books developed by the NSW Government, are an example of how you can collect and record information – they are designed to be completed with the child over time. You can use the book itself or take ideas from it to develop your own. Whatever you decide, it is a fun activity that can help ensure the child has recorded memories of their life, which they can look back on as they grow and take with them into independent life. More information on the Life Story Book
A Life Story Book specifically for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children
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