Foster and Adoptive Parent Workshop: Practical Tips to Preserve Kids’ History

this training illustrates the personal power of our individual stories. To be able to honestly and appropriately help a child welfare involved youth piece together their story is a tremendous gift. I can think of no better way to honor them and actively show them they are loved and valued.

Lori O’Tighe

Adoptive and Foster families, if you:

  • Have been given a blank Lifebook and have no idea what to do to with it.
  • Don’t know what to say to kids about kids’ birth parents, or why kids came into care.
  • Don’t know what to do with photos of your foster child, or of your adopted child’s birth family.
  • Have no idea where you will find time to do one more thing.
  • 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.

I feel this training can help shape, mold, & provide valuable information that is needed to having a loving, special, & positive relationship as a parent of a adoptive or foster child.

James Bradford III

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Alisa was able to share clear examples and stories that allowed me to think about how to apply the lessons that I learned during the session. I am just starting the application process to become a foster/adoptive parent, and I am trying to gather all the information that I can to be better prepared and knowledgeable.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I would encourage foster or adoptive parents to take this training… I was reminded of the importance of being child centered and ensuring that the child has ownership of their story.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I will absolutely encourage all of my future families to attend this training. This training broke down easy to follow steps to have conversations with our foster/ adoptive youth, and gather information, to gain more insight into the youth’s life and provide them with a piece of their own identity. Creating a lifebook, or expanding upon one, would be an invaluable tool in bonding with foster/adoptive youth, encouraging open dialogue, and celebrating their self-worth.


This 2 hour adoptive and foster parent focused training will enable parents to:

  • Be child-led when talking to children about their stories
  • Maintain foster and adopted children’s history as they grow.
  • Consider what children might want to know when they are older, about their birth families and time in care.
  • To name what they want children to understand about their time in their families. 

To learn what:

  • Is age-appropriate to share or not share.
  • A good history looks and sounds like.
  • To include when gathering information.
  • Questions to talk with a therapist about and what parents can answer themselves.

And be armed with super practical tips on how:

  • To find extra minutes on even the busiest of days.
  • To talk to kids about their stories at any age.
  • To be open without being retraumatizing.
  • To hold children’s information with privacy, not secrecy.
  • To gather children’s stories, history, and medical information. 
  • To start or complete a Lifebook (with examples).

Families should attend this training:

  • Before, during, or after placement of children in foster care, or are placed for adoption.
  • When parents want to share photos and memories with children.
  • When parents learn of a move of a much-loved foster child.
  • If parents think children will forget their time with a foster family, because they of their age, or the time spent together was short.

*2-hour ongoing 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!


Workers, if you would like a training for yourself, check out the Child Welfare Staff Workshop: Capturing the Essence of Youths’ Stories.


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

Experience this interactive, transformational, hands on lifebook workshop for foster and adoptive parents to help children understand their history and stories.

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