Child Welfare Staff Workshop: Capturing the Essence of Youths’ Stories

***Sign up now to receive updates on our FREE Child Welfare Skills Sessions, where we will break down the 2 hour training discussed below into 30 minute, lunch time, bite-size sections, once a month from Aug 2022 – Feb 2023. Come to one, or come to all**

In my 8 years working in child welfare within multiple states and counties, I was never given this information and now I am feeling so heartbroken for the youth that I worked with that they are missing such crucial pieces of their own life history because of my lack of knowledge on the subject.

Past Participant

Child Welfare Staff, if you:

  • Would like to know more about the laws and requirements around Lifebooks and Social Medical Histories.
  • Have heard about Lifebooks, but don’t know much about them.
  • Wish there was more time to share children’s history with them, now and in the future.
  • Would like to have more ways encourage families to prioritize preserving children’s history.
  • Want what’s best for kids, but don’t know where to start.

Then this training is for you.

What Participants Are Saying

Rating: 5 out of 5.

This training is a must. They need to know how important this piece of the puzzle is to the kids and their future. – Susan Arellano

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I loved the step-by-step details that were given, especially when it came to the “tough stuff” plan & ways to involve the different parties of the case.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I really enjoyed this training. (The presenter’s) background in fostering, adopting, and social work really make it an enjoyable interesting trying. She is able to input a lot of personal first hand perspective into her training material. – Susan Arellano

Rating: 5 out of 5.

(The presenter) is so excellent and explained everything in details. Clear format.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Alisa is well-informed and obviously has a lot of knowledge when it comes to child welfare, the importance of life books, and completing such documentation herself. The information was presented in a manner that was easy to follow and I loved the resources given for my own future research into the process.

In this live 2 hour training, we will:

  • Learn from one another how to best complete life histories
  • Review current research
  • Think about how we equip parents to be partners in this work
  • View examples of a Lifebook and Social Medical History


  • Ways to capture foster youth and adoptees’ stories
  • About the benefits of capturing the essence of their story
  • The laws are around Social Medial Histories and Lifebooks in Minnesota and beyond

Practical tips:

  • Hands-on tools you can use with young people
  • How to include youth in the process
  • How to get birth, foster, and adoptive parent buy-in

*2-hour training certificate provided after an evaluation is received.

Your presenter will be Power of Story Founder and Executive Director Alisa Matheson.

She combines her lived experiences as a foster and then adoptive mom, child welfare worker, and parent trainer, along with the formal training she received while earning her Bachelor of Arts degree in Marriage and Family Counseling and Advanced Certificate in Therapeutic Lifestory Work.

As a foster mom, Alisa completed over 30 lifebooks, and found that being curious about their past, as well as sharing memories and photos with children she cared for has not taken away from the private parenting moments, but in fact increased the connection with children and their parents

And a child welfare worker, she has personally completed over 80 Social and Medical Histories and has found that lifebooks and social medical histories are the MOST important “paperwork” that could ever be completed by a child protection or permanency worker.

Come be empowered to bring these powerful items to the youth YOU care about.

Hope to “see” you there!

Parents, if you would like a training for yourself, check out the Foster and Adoptive Parent Workshop: Practical Tips to Preserve Kids’ History

IF you appreciated this workshop or want company at your training, please share with your networks!

Best practice, research, and good social work come together in this interactive and data-driven Lifebook training for permanency and child protection staff.

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