Routes to the past: exploring the identity and well-being of care leavers through genealogical lifestory work

This project will develop a new methodology for genealogical lifestory work, an empowering and therapeutic intervention to improve the well-being of care leavers and address the marginalisation and disadvantage resulting from a childhood in institutional ‘care’. It will involve interdisciplinary collaboration between social work and history academics and external collaborators. The team will formulate a methodology supported by research, grounded in current practice, and targeted to the needs of care leavers. The project will explore the potential of connecting social work practice with in-depth historical research, to develop an innovative methodology that enables care leavers to ‘re-author’ their life stories.


Cathy Humphreys [Department of Social Work, Faculty of Medicine, Dental and Health Sciences, UoM]

Joy Damousi [Historical and Philosophical Studies, Faculty of Arts, UoM]

Cate O'Neill [eScholarship Research Centre, UoM]

David Denborough [Dulwich Centre]

Frank Golding [Care Leavers of Australasia Network]

Research Program

Disability and mental health