My backpack: communication with children in foster care

Brief description:

My Backpack is a method/technique for social workers, legal guardians, and foster carers that assists them to communicate with children about their placement in foster care. The approach is built around the story of a little duck with a red backpack who is going to live with the dog family. My Backpack encourages children to tell their own stories and in doing so to understand what has happened to them and how they feel about it. Children in foster care participated in the development of these materials. In the Netherlands, the training is accredited by the Register for Youth Care and Child Protection social workers with 8.1 points.
My Backpack is developed by Bep van Sloten and Rinkse Mansens. For the international roll-out of the training, they have approached ICDI to assist them. Usually, the training will be given by Bep van Sloten and a trainer of ICDI. For more info see

Duration: 3 to 4 days (this excludes possible follow-up training)

Course Contents (non-exhaustive):

  • Introduction to My Backpack
  • Background information on separation and loss and effects on children
  • Practicing communication with children using hand puppets and computer programme
  • Embedding of My Backpack in the daily work of participants
  • Preparation of workshop for children and foster parents

For: Social workers, psychologists, and therapists who wish to apply My Backpack.