Guidelines for Writing Family Narratives

The Family narrative gives the child’s case worker a glimpse into your family’s life story. The narrative should be easy-to-read and descriptive without revealing confidential information. Some specific guidelines include:

  • Use only first names when describing your family.
  • The narrative should include information about your family's parenting experience, whether by birth, foster care, or adoption. Have you been scout leaders, coaches, Sunday school teachers, etc? Experience with special needs children is especially pertinent.
  • Mention other children in the family by giving a few brief descriptive phrases and year of birth.
  • Information about your family's support network, extended family, etc. is valuable for all families and especially pertinent for single applicants.
  • Include significant resources the family has access to such as medical facilities, schools, cultural opportunities, etc.
  • Describe the family lifestyle in general terms - i.e. "This family loves outdoor activities"; or "this family is very active in their church community".
  • Mention any specific disabilities or special needs the family is open to considering. It is not necessary to list what you cannot consider.
  • It is best to be somewhat general in the description of the age, gender and sibling number you will consider unless you are very firm about this.
  • Do not include personal details of your family's past such as deaths, divorces, alcohol treatment, etc. Do not use terms that define the family solely by race or religion. It is not necessary to give details or use phrases such as "working-class, middle class or well-off" to describe your family's financial situation.
  • Try to begin and end the narrative on a positive note.
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