Life story work records a life story of children and young people who have spent a lot of time living in care.

It records the child’s history and personal development, and can help them maintain a connection to their identity, their birth family and their origins.

What is life story work?

Life story work is important for all children in care and should include:

  • a copy of their birth certificate
  • their own artwork
  • letters from parents, siblings and carers
  • their family tree or genogram
  • information about their cultural background.
  • photographs that record things like:
    • milestones and achievements
    • pets
    • place of birth
    • holidays and outings.

Life story work should be updated regularly.

If you have a question about life story work, contact your caseworker for more information.

Aboriginal life story work

For Aboriginal children and young people in care it is extremely important that life story work supports and strengthens a child’s connection to culture so they can grow up strong and proud, knowing who they are and where they come from. Aboriginal life story work also supports the full implementation of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Placement Principle ‘connection’ element.

All Aboriginal children and young people in care are provided with a life story book. These books cover areas including:

  • cultural and kinship groups
  • elders
  • the Dreaming
  • their Dreaming story
  • kinship genograms.

Recognising the distinct culture, language and Country of each Aboriginal Nation, Aboriginal life story books are tailored to a support a child or young person’s specific connections, including:

  • Adnyamathanha
  • Arabunna
  • Boandik
  • Kaurna
  • Mirning
  • Ngarrindjeri
  • Narungga
  • Wirangu.

Where a child is from a different Nation, or their Nation is unknown, a generic book is provided. The Department for Child Protection is constantly looking for further ways to support each child’s specific connections.

Aboriginal life story books can be ordered through the child or young person’s case worker.