Life story approaches and relationships within residential child care : a practice reflection

Hamilton, Elaine (2019) Life story approaches and relationships within residential child care : a practice reflection. Scottish Journal of Residential Child Care, 18 (2). ISSN 1478-1840

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Residential child care creates a world of opportunity. It is unique and dynamic and often helps shape and direct the future for many children and young people. Relationships are key, they are multi-layered and adaptable, moulding to the children/young people and their individual needs. The use of daily life events, the rhythms, rituals and routines of the house help to create a safe space where the journey of therapeutically exploring the life story can evolve. In this article the author uses a case study to provide the reader with experiential examples, highlighting the importance of these every day interactions and life events to build and sustain authentic relationships within the residential child care environment, demonstrating the impact of such relationships in supporting a young person’s exploration of their life story. The recognition that life story work is often a process and not a specific task allows the residential practitioner to consider their role in this journey as adaptable and helps to identify greater opportunities for relationships to be enhanced.

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