What’s a lifebook? A lifebook is a bit like a baby book, a way to keep track of memories, events, and family ties. What makes it different than those sweet, typical baby books is that lifebooks are generally for older children and, more specifically, for children who are involved in the foster system. As of May 2015 all children in the care of the Illinois foster care system were to be provided with a lifebook by DCFS.
A lifebook helps a child keep track of people, places, and thoughts. As a child moves from home to home it can be hard to remember the faces of foster parents, siblings, even hard to remember what they looked like at that time in their lives, especially if no one is taking pictures of them or, sadly, keeping pictures of them. A lifebook is a place to immortalize those times. Think of it as one part diary and two parts photo album.
In the DCFS May announcement it was stated that, “Experts also say the Lifebooks 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 serve as an outlet for their emotions. It can be very difficult for an adult to find out what a child is feeling, and the books help open the door to conversation, understanding and healing.”