Life Story work
Kids in care may have experienced a lot of changes including where they live, who they live with and where they go to school. Sometimes, they might feel confused about who they are and what’s happened to them. Working on a My Life Story Book is a way of gathering and maintaining accurate information that can help kids understand who they are and where they have come from.
Life Story work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander kids
The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander My Life Story Book is given to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people who enter out-of-home care with DCJ. Children and young people can use the My Life Story Book to collect personal and cultural information.
The My Life Story Book belongs to the child or young person and only they can decide who looks at it.
The ATSI My Life Story Book
DCJ has produced a version of the downloadable My Life Story Book specifically for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children. It has been designed to help children understand their cultural identity and includes the following sections:
- ‘Who am I?’, looking at the child’s personal details such as age, colour of eyes, where they were born and favourite things
- ‘My family, my mob’, for details about their parents, siblings, clan, extended family, carer’s family and where their mob is from
- ‘My culture’, for recording flags, nation names, totems, words and role models
- ‘Things I might need when I get older’, with information about Aboriginal services, supports and networks.
Depending on their age and preferences, some may choose to use a different format, for example, a scrapbook, treasure box or video. Examples of things the child or young person in your care may also like to include:
- school photos, family photos, where they were born, where they’ve lived
- pets, holidays and special events
- copy of their birth certificate
- drawings and artwork
- letters and postcards
- family trees
- school awards and reports
- awards for activities including sport and music.
Where to go for information
Helping a child with their My Life Story Book can be fun, but collecting information can sometimes be hard. You may be able to get information from:
- the child or young person
- their parents, family and extended family
- Aboriginal workers
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders
- Aboriginal organisations and community groups including the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS)
- NSW Aboriginal Land Councils
- internet, libraries, books and videos
- cultural events, concerts and cultural camps.