Life History work with Power of Story is a process that is:

  • youth-led
  • strength-based
  • person-centered
  • trauma-informed and
  • cooperative.

The process results in a physical Lifebook.  

A tool used to help young people who have experienced out-of-home placements, better understand their past, provide a solid foundation to thrive fromgain insight to break generational patterns, gain renewed connections, and learn fundamental truths about their history.

I think completing a Lifebook, “could be a big help for you if there’s questions you may have about yourself and your history.

20-year-old in MN Foster Care

I felt heard.

I felt comfortable right away.

Went above and beyond.

How We Work

We believe Lifebooks shouldn’t be done FOR people, they should be done WITH people. So, we always start by speaking directly to the person whose story is being told to determine how they want to participate, understand what THEY hope to learn about their past, who they would like us to talk to, and what documents they would like us to help them gather.

Led by their desires and curiosity, we then utilize our networks and experience to help them find answers through document retrieval and review, personal interviews, and renewed connections.

After we meet together, phone calls and emails will be made to birth, adoptive, and foster families, doctors, dentists, teachers, workers and desired documents will be requested and reviewed, including foster care files, court documents, school records, mental and physical health records.

These phone calls and review of documents can lead to renewed connections, insights and additional avenues of investigation, which are followed up with as desired to fill in gaps of information.

When stories, photos, history and medical information are all gathered, they are compiled into a helpful, strength-based, and organized tool given directly to the young person in an in-person meeting.

A Lifebook is far from being a cookie-cutter document, but often includes:

  • Photos of childhood and family
  • family, medical, and genetic information
  • an overarching story of the young person’s life before and during foster care
  • positive and nuanced information about their birth family
  • information on past placements and school experiences
  • Copies of vital documents
  • Copies of foster care and adoption records

All of which foster youth crave and deserve to have.

“Coleman, 20, of Coon Rapids, Minnesota, craves details that remain elusive about her heritage, extended family, medical history and photos of her classmates and favorite pets. “We need this,” she said of foster children like herself who lack personal archives. “This would’ve helped me a long time ago.”

From a recent Imprint Article written about Power of Story

Note: We primarily work with youth when referred by a MN social worker, but we also offer a limited number of scholarships to Minnesota former foster youth, ages 18-28, apply for scholarship.

Lifebook Example

Coming soon.

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