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Life Books for Children in Foster Care

Life Books are designed to enable a child to understand significant events in their past, confront feelings associated with those events, and become more fully involved in the future planning of their lives. A Life Book can provide a chronology of the child’s life, enhance self-esteem and identity formation, help a child share his or her history with others, identify connections between past, present and future and separate reality from fantasy thinking about their family of origin.

A Life Book is a great place to keep photos, mementos, certificates, drawings, school papers and other items of importance for a child.

Information that can be compiled by foster/adoptive parents might include:

  • Developmental milestones
  • Childhood illnesses
  • How the child shows affection
  • The things he or she does when happy or excited
  • What frightened him or her
  • Favorite friends, activities and toys
  • Birthday and religious celebrations
  • Trips, vacations and school field trips
  • Extended family members who are important to the child– pictures of them and any cards or letters they sent
  • Cute things the child does or has said
  • Nicknames
  • Family pets
  • Visits with birth relatives
  • Names of teachers, the schools attended, report cards and any awards
  • Special activities, such as scouting, clubs, sports teams or camping experiences
  • Church and  spiritual community and Sunday School experiences
  • Pictures of each foster family, their home, the child’s room and their pets.