Digital life story work in action

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


With the rapid and continued spread of digital technologies, practitioners are starting to use digital media, such as computers and smartphones, in life story work. Digital life story work, as it is known, can provide exciting new opportunities for supportive conversations with young people that can help them to make sense of their past, understand their experiences and help develop their aspirations for the future. Digital media can be used in this work with children of all ages, but is most often employed with young people. This chapter focuses on work with this age group. The use of digital tools to communicate with looked after young people has been mentioned in previous influential works (Fahlberg, 1994; Ryan and Walker, 2007). However, the use of these tools in frontline practice is still not widespread (Ahmad et al, 2008; Tregeagle and Darcy, 2008; Hammond, 2009; Hammond and Cooper, 2013). This chapter explores the benefits of using digital media with young people, and shows how technology can be used in simple, fun and imaginative ways. It also details points to be considered before starting work. Like the four-year research project that informs it, this chapter is underpinned by real-world practice experiences of using digital media with looked after young people. Numerous interviews and focus groups with young people and carers were undertaken during this project, and provide quotes and case study examples of digital life story work in action.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLife Story Work
Subtitle of host publicationWhy, What, How and When
EditorsTony Ryan, Rodger Walker
PublisherCoram BAAF
Number of pages14
ISBN (Print)978 1 910039 410
Publication statusPublished - May 2016

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