LSS Foster Care Services
Jill Jensen, Licensing and Intake Social Worker
Life Books are a connection to the past that can provide insight to the future. They are essential tools to aid the children in the child welfare system in understanding the narrative of their lives and the meaning of the changes they have experienced. Life Books are valuable in preserving children’s life stories as well as in helping them make sense of their past. (Center for Adoptive Studies, University of Illinois)
A Life Book is a collection of information, stories, photos, and memories kept together to tell a child’s life story. Life Book pages go to youth living in foster care or residential placements in South Dakota to help them put together their story. These youth vary in age from 0 to 21.
Life Books are important because youth who are not able to live with their birth family can have a hard time keeping information about their life together as they move to different places. A Life Book is a place for youth to store their information and to add information and pictures as they grow older.
On Thursday, April 18 and Friday, April 19, a volunteer group through Cigna will donate their time and artistic abilities putting together pre-made pages for the LSS foster care program. The pages made by our Cigna volunteer team will be given to a child living in a foster home so that the child can begin their Life Book or add to their Life Book. Making a Life Book can be overwhelming! The blank, themed pre-made pages give youth a place to start their Life Book and this also lets the youth know that we think their story is important!
“It is wonderful to see the pride in the children’s eyes when their pictures are placed on the beautifully crafted pages that volunteers have made. Often children will have an envelope of random loose photos. These photos are placed on a creative page which frames them, giving honor to the child’s memories.” LSS of SD Social Worker
“I am happy to have this book that is all about me!” A 9-year-old child in foster care
“I am so thankful for the volunteers who take time to share their talents by making Life Book pages for my foster children.” LSS of SD Foster Parent
We are so grateful for the team of volunteers from Cigna that comes together each year to put together these Life Book pages. Their support makes a difference in the lives of children in foster care, their foster parents, and their social workers. Thank you!
For more information on fostering or providing donations, please go to www.LssSD.org
Submitted by Jill Jensen, Foster Care Licensing and Intake Social Worker