Our Model

Specialized and research-driven.

We know that no written history can replace the lived experiences of growing up with daily access to those who know your stories + medical information, but we answer as many questions and fill as many gaps as possible for foster youth and adoptees through nuanced and person-centered Social Medical Histories and Lifebooks.

At Power of Story, we believe all people deserve access to their own life history.

This is HOW we do it.

Youth Interview

We START with an interview with the young person whose life story the Social Medical History or Lifebook tells.

We explain what we are doing, show them examples of what a Social Medical History or Lifebook looks like, and work with them to understand their current understanding of their story is and see what questions they have about their history.

What are they curious about at this point in their lives? What do they wish they knew?

Family + Professional Conversations

Using a person-centered approach, we connect with birth parents, current and past foster and adoptive families, social workers, guardian ad litems, doctors, and therapists. We invite them to tell us what they know about this young person and share their stories and photos.

3 R’s of Documents

We request, review and redact* all related, and connected documents for a young person, including medical documents, IEPS/504’s, foster care court documents, evaluations, and reports.

*Only as required by state law.

Coherent, Age-Specific Story

We collect all the conversations and information into a friendly, sensitive, true, detailed, and thoughtful story that helps youth understand their life. In a Lifebook or Social Medical History, the young person is always our main audience, and we go beyond the legally needed facts to make a meaningful narrative for young people and those they interact with.

Youth Follow Up

We meet with the youth directly after we complete our research to see what additional questions they have and share information that we learned about their story with them in an age-appropriate and developmentally appropriate way.

Support + Living Stories

We provide support and workshops to youth, parents, and professionals to give them the power and courage to process their history.  We also encourage regular updates to both the stories and social and medical information on a once-a-year basis or with every new placement in foster care. A Social Medical History or Lifebook is never truly “done,” as the young person’s story isn’t over yet.

View the newest video on the Power of Story on our homepage.