As National Foster Care Month (May) comes to a close, the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services announced it will provide a LifeBook for every child in care. “Lifebooks, and other similar programs, are a growing trend around the country, because too many children age out of care without knowing their life's history,” said George Sheldon, Acting Director of the Illinois Department of Children Services. “Tools like these enable children to connect with their past and actually help them deal with the trauma they have faced in their young lives, and I’m pleased that Illinois will be offering them to the children in our care.”
Lifebooks are an expanded form of a scrapbook and can be useful in working with children in out-of-home care and children who have been adopted to record memories and events that occurred prior to placement, as well as when the children were in foster care. They help children retain connections to people who have been important in their lives and help children integrate past experiences with their present circumstances in a healthy, constructive manner.
Experts say the books go a long way in helping a child deal with his or her trauma. Children who experience trauma relive it every day, and because children are natural storytellers, the books will serve as an emotional outlet for the child. It can be very difficult for an adult to find out what a child is feeling, and the books go a long way in illustrating their emotions.
DCFS receives, investigates, and acts upon a report of child abuse or neglect every five minutes.
For more information on lifebooks, see: