ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Scrapbooks are Important to Children in Foster Care

Updated on September 15, 2017
Karen Hellier profile image

Karen Hellier is a freelance writer and eBay entrepreneur. She happily lives in the mountains of North Georgia with her husband and her dog.

A trip to the beach with a sibling is a special memory to be included in a Life Book.
A trip to the beach with a sibling is a special memory to be included in a Life Book. | Source


I used to be a social worker that worked with children taken out of their homes due to abuse and neglect. The goal was always first to try to return the children home. That did happen in many cases. But there are other cases where the father was unknown, and the mother was drug addicted and could never seem to shake the habit to get her children back. Or the one parent chose to stay with the abusive parent over providing a home for their child. Such sad situations for the children often caused mental health issues. I did the best I could to reassure them they were lovable and that this situation was not their fault. I never felt as though it was enough, but there were tools to help them cope with living in foster care. My favorite tool was called a "Life Book."This was in the 1980s, and the term "Scrap Booking" had not even been invented yet, but a Life Book was a scrap book of the child's life to date.

Before the Scrap Book movement that we have today, encouraged by companies like Creative Memories, the Life Book was a much simpler form of saving memories. It was a regular scrapbook with paper pages with no plastic coverings. Kids could add pictures of their birth families, their schools that they had been to in their lifetime, and pictures of their current foster family, as well as others that they had lived with, if they had had multiple placements, Although sad, a foster child being in multiple placements was often the case, and still is today. Some foster families are great at taking pictures of the child at school functions, with favorite teachers, and family trips or outings that the child went on. If a social worker is on top of his or her game, they ask the birth family for a variety of pictures starting with a baby picture and get pictures of the hospital in which the child was born. Bringing a camera with them to take pictures of places the children had been during supervised visits with parents is also important. Sometimes the foster families just need respite, so if the social worker brings the child on an outing to a park or museum, pictures of that are important as well.

And pictures are not the only items that can be included in a Life Book. Pamphlets from places the child has visited, tickets to shows or movies, special art work the child created while in different grades are also important to add. For many of the children in the foster care system, these items were never kept or got lost in a multitude of moves, so it's not always easy to locate these types of items. But they can be very meaningful to a child who has spent time in foster care.

Although half of the process of creating a Life Book is about saving memories and creating a special place to keep mementos, the other important part is the process of creating the Life Book itself. Whether it takes place in a therapist's office, or with a social worker, it's important to let the child express their feelings about the pictures and the items that are added to the life book. Often, a child doesn't understand why they can't live with Mommy and Daddy, and while the pictures are being pasted into the book, this can be discussed, There will also be feelings of sadness or happiness based on certain pictures, and those emotions can be brought to the surface and discussed as well.

A Life Book that is created with a foster child as a process of looking at their life and creating a special place for memories can be very therapeutic for a child in care. If at all possible, each child in foster care should have help creating a Life Book to keep with them into adulthood to help them process their life experiences and be a reminder of all they have been through, and how far they have come.

© 2012 Karen Hellier

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Karen Hellier profile image
      Author

      Karen Hellier 4 years ago from Georgia

      marion langley,

      I hope you do choose to adopt from foster care. Too many kids are left in the system for life and they don't have anyone to help anchor them. Don't worry, there are lots of adoptive support groups out there for both foster care and adoption. Thanks for reading.

    • marion langley profile image

      marion langley 4 years ago from The Study

      I love how accessible a persona this article gives a social worker. If my husband I and do decide to adopt from foster care later in life I hope I meet a great network to support us and the kids. Looking forward to seeing and putting together Life Books. Thanks for writing.

    • Karen Hellier profile image
      Author

      Karen Hellier 5 years ago from Georgia

      Yes, it would be a good idea. I hope there are foster parents out there who actively scarp book with their foster kids, or at least get them the materials/classes to do it. I don't know if it's still being done in my state or other states but it is so helpful for kids to process the pain they have been through, and to help them remember the good times.

    • Karen Hellier profile image
      Author

      Karen Hellier 5 years ago from Georgia

      carol7777,

      Yes, there were a lot of heartbreaking moments. But the kids themselves were worth the heartbreak. I used to think I wanted to be a foster parent to reach out to kids in care, but I don't think I am strong enough for it.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      This is such a powerful idea for children in foster care. This should be adopted throughout the world as a standard. It is such a comfort to connect with people and enjoy those wonderful memories. voted up.

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 5 years ago from Arizona

      I could imagine that being a social worker had many heart breaking aspects. Children who never really get a chance in life. Difficult enough raising kids with two loving parents. This is a great hub and I like your ideas about scrapbooks. Voted up.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is used to quickly and efficiently deliver files such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisements has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)