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Life story work: Reflections on the experience by looked after young people

Willis, Rachel and Holland, Sarah Anne Louise ORCID: 2009. Life story work: Reflections on the experience by looked after young people. Adoption and Fostering 33 (4) , pp. 44-52.

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Twelve young people aged 11 to 18 years, living in foster care in one local authority in South Wales participated in this study to explore young people’s experiences of life story work. Subjects had very different care histories, with time in care varying from 2 to 12 years. They had experienced a wide range of styles and content of life story work. By the use of semi-structured interviews the young people reflected on both the emotional aspects of the work and the new information they had gained about their own histories. Life story work invoked a range of emotions among participants, including tedium, pleasure, anger and sadness. It also appeared to have a function in helping young people to work out aspects of their identity. All were positive about the experience, although a small number had sometimes found the process tedious or intrusive to their everyday lives. Most envisaged a future role for the life story books in their lives. The authors conclude that both the process of life story work and the material record produced are important to looked after young people. The scarcity of empirical research in this area is noted and suggestions for future research are made.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
Uncontrolled Keywords: emotions; foster children; interviews; life story books; life story work; looked after children; user views; young people
Publisher: British Association of Adoption and Fostering
ISSN: 0308-5759
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 19 Oct 2022 10:46

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