Life Story Work: Optional extra or fundamental entitlement?
In Aotearoa New Zealand the importance of life story books is outlined in the policy of our statutory care and protection agency Child, Youth and Family. Many children in care do not have access to such a resource, however, suggesting that social workers view this as an optional extra or “nice to have” rather than integral to good practice. This article begins with an outline of practice in Aotearoa New Zealand. The function and purpose of life story work and theoretical underpinnings are explored in order to address the question posed in the article's title. I argue that life story work is a fundamental entitlement which is often overlooked in practice. The article concludes with a discussion of dilemmas and challenges before identifying changes needed in the New Zealand context.
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISSN: 1357-5279; 1476-489X
Keywords: Social Work; looked-after children; life story work; New Zealand practice; changes needed
Research Type: Journal Article
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