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Life Story Workshop - the importance of life stories to children

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The Bessborough Centre, Cork.

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‘If aspects of the past are ignored or considered “too awful” to share, shame will pervade the child. What is shareable is bearable’ (Dan Siegal)

Life Story Workshop

One Day Workshop, Thursday 21st September 2017

FacilitatorCatherine Mullin, Independent Trainer

Everyone has a life story. Most of us will have a good grasp of own life story. We might know parts about the life stories of our friends and people in our family. How we understand and come to know about the story of our life is important in shaping our understanding of how the world within which we are living works. Despite it being widely recognised that children and young people in care have a right to full information about their identity and history, professionals and parents find it difficult to find the “right” words and the “right” time to impart this information in a sensitive yet honest way.

This workshop will assist practitioners to explore the challenges involved in this complex and sensitive area of work with children, their carers and their families. Practitioners will have the opportunity to use tools and to share ideas, to support the development of their skill in this area.

This interactive workshop will explore

  • How to support carers and parents to talk to children openly and honestly about early life experiences, including the subject of being in care

  • Co-creating ‘words and pictures’ story book explanations with parents to help children understand worries, concerns and difficult situations

  • Practice tools used to assist with current issues and dilemmas.

  • The application of Life Story Work ideas to practice, using case examples.

Catherine Mullin is an Independent Social Worker and Childcare Trainer with 35 years’ experience working in children’s services. Catherine has worked with children in care both as a social worker and a Guardian ad Litem and was a trainer for BAAF for 7 years, facilitating workshops for social workers, foster carers and adopters. In addition to training, Catherine specialises in undertaking assessments of parents, relative carers and foster carers who have failed to engage effectively with statutory children’s services. Catherine recently spent 18 months working as a child protection worker in a remote aboriginal community in Western Australia using the Signs of Safety model.

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The Bessborough Centre, Cork.

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