Saturday, 17 November 2018

   

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Sharing Stories: Mediation for Life Story work

Children rely on the adults around them to keep their memories safe. Simple questions like "when did I first walk?" or "who do I look like?", or memories such as "I remember staying at a place near a field" need explanation and detail in order to help the child make sense of their history. If the adults don't have the details then they can't help the child answer those questions.

 

Sharing Stories is a project that works with parents from birth families and foster or adoptive families in order to enable them to share those important stories directly and in more detail than is usually possible.

 

Sharing Stories supports families where children are placed under an early permanence arrangement (concurrency or foster-to-adopt) to let their child know more about their birth family in their own words. This helps them to make sense of their memories and heritage.

Participants will be encouraged to meet with a mediator in a safe place to share stories about the child's family, life story and any other information they would like the child to have, now or in the future.

Participants may wish to meet each other as part of this process. This is not required but is an option if all parties agree.

 

Sharing Stories works with parents on behalf of children in order to:

  • Support the child in coming to terms with loss and trauma in their lives
  • Help the child make sense of their memories
  • Build a positive self-identity
  • Feel secure and safe
  • Understand their heritage
  • Answer life story questions

 

The information that is shared may be written records of conversations, notes, letters, pictures, photographs, objects, or anything that may have a meaning to the child, now or in the future. Every family will be different and every story is unique.

 

A social worker can refer to Sharing Stories but after that their involvement will be limited. If extra support is needed to participate then a social worker, solicitor or other support worker may advise or participants may choose to contact Sharing Stories themselves. 

 

For further information for professionals about the Sharing Stories project click here

Sharing Stories Information for social workers leaflet

Sharing Stories Information for parents with additional needs leaflet

Sharing Stories Information for parents leaflet

Sharing Stories Information for EP carers leaflet

Sharing Stories Information for parents thinking about relinquishment leaflet