Services to MN Counties + Organizations

Minnesota counties and organizations can work with us to offer services including the completion of Social Medical Histories, Lifebooks and specialty workshops.

We would love to introduce you to our easy to work with and specially trained Story Specialists, and our specialized, research-based, person-centered model.

Research shows the importance of life history work, and while not therapy, this work is healing and therapeutic, thus saving future costs of additional mental health care.

Our Work

  • Increases birth parent partnership and engagement, by utilizing our neutral party, person-centered approach.
  • Increases youth involvement in the Social Medical History and Lifebook process.
  • Helps youth understand their history. Darla L Henry, The 3–5–7 Model: Preparing children for Permanency, states that one of the main keys to clear sense of identity and sense of security is “knowledge and awareness about personal history, heritage and genealogy,” which a lifebook can help provide.

Social and Medical History

In MN, A SOCIAL MEDICAL HISTORY is required for all foster youth who are in care six+ months, and includes non-identifiable information, placement dates, addresses of schools, diagnoses, doctors, therapists, information about adolescents, their birth family, and reasons for placement.

Power of Story’s model goes beyond the basics, and includes two Therapeutic Life Story Work approach interviews with each young person 6 years and older, a full file review, contact with birth, foster and adoptive families, document redaction as required by MN law and regular updates.

Thus, saving workers time AND providing child focused services directly to youth.

Work with us to:

  • Save your workers time and effort.
  • Have more focused and intentional child protection and permanency interventions, based on thorough family social history.
  • Comply with MN statute 260C.212 Subd. 15., that requires SMH’s begin no later than the child’s permanency progress review hearing or six months after the child’s placement in foster care.
  • Receive updateable and strength-based, Social Medical Histories, using the MN DHS approved SMH format – DHS-6754A-ENG PDF.
  • If applicable, speed up the adoption process with a correctly completed SMH the first time.
  • Have regular updates available for completed SMH’s.

Lifebook Creation

We provide photo and story based books to help foster youth and adoptees understand their history as they move into their future.

Photo Based: Photos are worth 1000 words, so we pack in as many as we can, from baby pics to the outside of their current school.

Story that Makes Sense: Young people need to understand their past so they can plan their future. We fill in gaps in their history with an approachable and understandable story.

Customized: Each Lifebook is unique and special to each person’s story, and is provided in an electronic and 3 ring binder design, built to grow with the child and be updated over time.

Grow As They Do: The story never stops, and can be used by a 2 year old or an adult, thus, each books is provided in an electronic and 3 ring binder design, built to grow with the child and be updated over time.

Work with us to:

  • Provide real support for youth around understanding and processing their story.
  • Receive one physical 3 ring binder based book, with an age appropriate, coherent narrative and photos, for the child to have and an electronic version to remain in the county file.
  • Follow Quality Parenting Initiative (QPI) principles of involving all members of a child’s support team, even if contact is limited.
  • Have regular updates available for completed Lifebooks.

Lifestory Workshops

Bringing the Power of Story, through Social Medical History+ and Lifebooks to youth, parents, and child protection staff.

All are key partners in maintaining this history, and we have found that when they know the power to share what they know about a young person’s story, they can become sensational keepers of knowledge for them.

Learn more about our workshops.

Counties + Organization FAQ’s

How do we work with Power of Story?

If you work at an MN County or Organization and are interested in talking about a potential contracting option or partnership with Power of Story to work with your young people and families, to provide Social Medical History, Lifebook services, or workshops, please schedule a time with Alisa Matheson to ask your questions and learn more about our model.

What are the rates of service?

Rate sheets are available upon request.

What are your key messages to youth?

  • The past influences the future, but if we know all our history, the good and the bad, we can heal.
  • ALL of a person’s history is important and worth exploring.
  • It is OK for young people to love and be loved by more than one family.
  • It is normal to have mixed feelings and questions about the past and future.
  • No one’s story is ALL trauma.
  • There is always hope for a happy ending (the story is not over yet).

Can I see examples of your Lifebooks and Social Medical Histories?

Yes, you can view the following vides or contact us for a time to chat in more detail.

Example Lifebook
Example Social Medical History – based on the form used in Minnesota
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