From 23 to 26 April LifeBook for Youth organized the first international LifeBook conference with support from Erasmus + and Stichting Kinderperspectief. It took place in Dolna Banya, a small town located north east of the Bulgarian capital Sofia.
During the last years youth care professionals from Croatia, Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Albania were trained to be LifeBook Coaches. After these trainings, they started working with children without parental care in their own countries with the LifeBook developed by LifeBook for Youth. The results so far: 5 certified LifeBook for Youth trainers, over 150 trained LifeBook coaches and more than 1500 LifeBooks spread. Now, four years later it is time to look back and forward. What are the results so far? How satisfied are professionals and young people? What are the opportunities for the future?
That LifeBook for Youth built up a good name in the Balkan region became already evident during the registration period. The conference (maximum of 50 places) was full within a week.
During the conference there was time for professional exchange, but it was also an opportunity to explore new methods. Led by specialists, the participants worked on their own genograms, made creative triptychs (past, present, future), got a first insight in the “new” world of unconscious nonverbal communication and participated in a workshop “Solution focused working”.
The posters and PowerPoint presentations from the different countries were overwhelming. Both professionals and young people are very enthusiastic about LifeBook. “Finally a tool that we can use in our daily practice,” one of the participants from Serbia said. Children are very open while working on their LifeBook and proud of the result. Professionals are glad LifeBook helps them to look at the positive aspects of a child.
The future: dissemination, continuity and exchange
The enthusiasm of all participants is great. All countries are willing to help with the distribution of LifeBook to other countries. “We are going home with a full head, a full heart and full hands.” In short: new information, inspiration and practical tools which all participants can use in their daily practice!
Martine Tobé, Founder of Lifebook for Youth