A Life Book is an age-appropriate story of a foster or soon-to-be adopted child's life, written for the child with the hope that it will help him/her make sense of confusing and often upsetting events that led to an out-of-home placement. The narrative explains how and why the child came to be placed in the foster care system, and how agencies, foster parents and other caregivers worked to keep the child safe.
With access to case files and through independent research, Life Book volunteers chronicle each child's unique life experience. As Life Book Volunteers pore through all the material in the child's case file, they are on the lookout for information that will help the child remember the positive influences and experiences that may have existed even in the midst of traumatic events. Consulting with the child's case worker, Life Book Volunteers solicit letters and photographs from people in the child's life. The letters often include a cherished memory and a message of love and good wishes that the child will be able to read and re-read throughout his/her life.
Life Book volunteers should commit to work on the project 4-10 hours per week and must have some daytime availability. The book will take approximately 4 months to 1 year to complete. A vehicle is required, and mileage is reimbursed. Life Book volunteers may earn course credit through the University of Arizona and Pima Community College. Minimum age requirement is 20 years old.