Lifebook News

Media on LSSI Lifebooks

Media coverage related to “Putting the Pieces Together: Lifebook Work With Children” DVD launch and premiere in 2008:

On January 17, 2008, Quad-Cities Online (Moline, Rock Island) posted a story, “‘Lifebooks’ give kids, foster families a head start,” about what a Lifebook is and its importance for LSSI foster families. The article mentioned LSSI’s new training DVD, which featured local foster care providers, like Nellie Goderis of Aledo. Monica Johnson, LSSI’s statewide post-adoption training and services coordinator who is based in Rock Island, was quoted.

The January 28, 2008, Moline Daily Dispatch ran an article, “Books promote healing and understanding in foster system,” about LSSI’s Lifebooks program for foster and adoptive children. Monica Johnson, statewide post-adoption training and services coordinator, was quoted.

The front page of the Sunday, March 25, 2008, Chicago Tribune featured an article, “Lives rebuilt, a page at a time,” by Bonnie Miller Rubin on Lifebooks, which LSSI is promoting for use by its 2,000 foster children. The article, which mentioned LSSI’s training DVD, “Putting the Pieces Together: Lifebook Work With Children,” explained the importance of Lifebooks and quoted Ruth Jajko, LSSI statewide director of adoption services; Jeanne Howard, co-director of Illinois State University’s Center for Adoption Studies; Barb McKay, foster mom; and Clarissa Minge, former foster youth.

A story in the April 2008 Chicago Parent magazine featured “The importance of the past—Lifebooks help children in the welfare system chronicle their history,” a story written by Emmalee Miller and also posted on April 18, 2008, on the magazine’s Web site. The article pointed to the importance of Lifebooks for children in the foster care system, as well as those who are adopted. Nellie Goderis, a foster parent for more than 15 years, helped to create Lifebooks for each of the children she cares for. “It can also help the birth parents understand the child better and the issues that concern them,” she says, adding that “It also helps the foster and biological parents work together.”

The Metro Chicago Synod’s supplement to the April 2008 issue of The Lutheran published an article, “LSSI launches ‘Lifebook’ training DVD,” on the new program. The article quoted Ruth Jajko, LSSI’s statewide director of adoption services, and Monica Johnson, LSSI’s statewide post-adoption training and service coordinator in Rock Island, who helped to develop the training DVD. Jajko said, “We want every child in foster care to have a Lifebook. [Creating] a Lifebook helps children make sense of their stories.”

On July 14, 2008, the Public News Service released a story, “Illinois Foster Kids Learn to Put the Pieces Together with ‘Lifebooks.’” Ruth Jajko, LSSI’s statewide director of adoption services, was quoted in the story, saying that the books help create a living history for children dealing with a chaotic past and are a tool to help answer children’s questions about their birth parents. The story was picked up by radio stations around the state.

The July 10, 2008, the Daily Herald featured “Lifebooks help adopted, foster children organize memories,” an article which focused on the experiences of a former foster child, Crystal Dixon, who began a Lifebook at age 14 to “help show me that I am somebody.” Crystal was one of several panelists who spoke at the premiere of LSSI’s Lifebook DVD on July 9. In the article, Ruth Jajko, LSSI’s statewide director of adoption services, commented that “Children who aren’t living with their original families really need to understand why that is. Lifebooks help them answer that and other questions, in their own memories and own voices.” The article was also featured in the July 10 Barrington Courier News.

On November 10, 2008, and January 12, 2009, CAN TV 21 aired a story on LSSI’s Lifebook and DVD on the “DCFS Dialogue” show, which is hosted by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services’ Bridgette Glickman. She interviewed Ruth Jajko, statewide director of LSSI’s adoption services; and Dr. Jeanne Howard of the Center for Adoption Studies at Illinois State University in Normal. Monica Johnson, LSSI’s statewide post-adoption training and service coordinator, who works out of LSSI’s Rock Island office, developed the training DVD with Dr. Howard.

The November 2008 Adoptalk newsletter from the North American Council on Adoptable Children published a story, “Help Foster Children Make Sense of Their Lives: Create a Lifebook,” by Monica Johnson, LSSI’s statewide post-adoption training and service coordinator in Rock Island.

Putting the Pieces Together,” the cover story of the Winter 2007-2008 issue of Eye on LSSI, featured LSSI’s Lifebooks program and the training DVD. The article highlighted two families that use Lifebooks with their foster children and the impact that it has made on their lives. The article describes what a Lifebook is and how it can be used with foster and adopted children.

A story in the fall 2008 Illinois Families Now and Forever newsletter, “Lifebooks help youth heal as they tell their life story,” provides information on LSSI’s Lifebook program, and includes quotes from Ruth Jajko, LSSI’s statewide director of adoption services, and Monica Johnson, who led the project’s development with researchers from the Center for Adoption Studies at Illinois State University (Bloomington).