A Lifebook is similar to a scrapbook in that it has photos, celebrates special events like birthdays and holidays, and contains artwork and memorabilia.
It is different from a scrapbook in that a Lifebook helps children make sense of difficult aspects of their lives by encouraging exploration of losses, disappointments–even traumatic experiences–while also celebrating the child’s strengths and providing hope for the future.
A Lifebook helps children make sense of difficulties by providing journaling pages with questions and prompts that allow children to express thoughts and feelings, and ask questions about their lives – pages such as:
Fears and Worries
Other Things On My Mind
For children who are not living with their original families (children in foster care or children who have been adopted), Lifebooks have special sections to help them stay connected to, and learn more about, their birth families.
Children in foster care may lose track of the places they have lived or may not understand why they are not living with their birth parents. A Lifebook provides a place to collect and keep track of their placement histories and meaningful artifacts, and to honor important relationships. The Lifebook provides concrete, visual tools that assist children in understanding their pasts and reasons for separation from their parent(s).
Lifebooks are also tools that can help children in foster care prepare for reunification with their birth parents or for joining a new family through adoption.
Most of all, Lifebooks are designed to celebrate each child’s unique, positive qualities and abilities with pages such as: