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Looked after children to benefit from new life story work project

Life story work

Gateshead Council will adopt a new approach to life story work with looked after children after being awarded funding by What Works for Children's Social Care. 

In partnership with Blue Cabin, the Creative Life Story Work project will use creative activities facilitated by professional artists, combined with therapeutic life story work, to help children and young people better understand their own life stories, and improve their lives at home and school. 

Councillor Gary Haley, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, Gateshead Council, said "As a corporate parent we understand the role we have in nurturing our young people's stories. This needs to be done with care and thoughtfulness and working in partnership with Blue Cabin will enable us to help our children and young people to both understand and tell their life story. 

We believe that this work will not only benefit those young people directly involved but will also help to improve the life story work carried out with all the young people in our care, both now and in the future." 

Although all local authorities carry out life story work there is currently no national guidance on best practice. This project which builds on work already carried out in the North East will provide learning to be shared across the rest of the region and the UK. 

Jenny Young, Director of Blue Cabin, which is leading the project, said: "Many children and young people who have experienced being separated from their birth families have unanswered questions about their lives - for example, around events that took place early in their lives, or relating to their hopes and ambitions for the future.  

"The potential benefits of this work for children, young people and their families and carers are huge," added Jenny Young. "We anticipate that children and young people who take part will not only gain a better understanding of their own experiences, but that they will also benefit from improved relationships with the adults in their lives - whether that is carers, their birth families, and social workers - and improved stability at home and at school. 

Blue Cabin is a North East-based organisation which transforms outcomes for care-experienced children and young people through creative activities. They will work with Darlington Borough Council, Gateshead Council and South Tyneside Council to roll out the new approach over a 15 month period, targeting children and young people aged five and over and their carers. The project also includes support from Richard Rose, an internationally respected trainer and facilitator of life story work and the founder of Therapeutic Life Story Work International.  

The project builds on work carried out in South Tyneside over the last two years. 

Life story work
24 November 2020

Gateshead Council will adopt a new approach to life story work with looked after children after being awarded funding by What Works for Children's Social Care. 

In partnership with Blue Cabin, the Creative Life Story Work project will use creative activities facilitated by professional artists, combined with therapeutic life story work, to help children and young people better understand their own life stories, and improve their lives at home and school. 

Councillor Gary Haley, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, Gateshead Council, said "As a corporate parent we understand the role we have in nurturing our young people's stories. This needs to be done with care and thoughtfulness and working in partnership with Blue Cabin will enable us to help our children and young people to both understand and tell their life story. 

We believe that this work will not only benefit those young people directly involved but will also help to improve the life story work carried out with all the young people in our care, both now and in the future." 

Although all local authorities carry out life story work there is currently no national guidance on best practice. This project which builds on work already carried out in the North East will provide learning to be shared across the rest of the region and the UK. 

Jenny Young, Director of Blue Cabin, which is leading the project, said: "Many children and young people who have experienced being separated from their birth families have unanswered questions about their lives - for example, around events that took place early in their lives, or relating to their hopes and ambitions for the future.  

"The potential benefits of this work for children, young people and their families and carers are huge," added Jenny Young. "We anticipate that children and young people who take part will not only gain a better understanding of their own experiences, but that they will also benefit from improved relationships with the adults in their lives - whether that is carers, their birth families, and social workers - and improved stability at home and at school. 

Blue Cabin is a North East-based organisation which transforms outcomes for care-experienced children and young people through creative activities. They will work with Darlington Borough Council, Gateshead Council and South Tyneside Council to roll out the new approach over a 15 month period, targeting children and young people aged five and over and their carers. The project also includes support from Richard Rose, an internationally respected trainer and facilitator of life story work and the founder of Therapeutic Life Story Work International.  

The project builds on work carried out in South Tyneside over the last two years. 

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