Resources for Professionals
Professionals play a critical role in the healing process for children and adults who are experiencing the painful transition and ongoing process of separation, divorce and remarriage. As a result, NFRC has assumed a strong advocacy role in helping other professionals understand and meet the needs of families in transition, offering training and consultation services to mental health professionals, mediators, attorneys, judges, and school counselors and teachers.
A Call for Systems Reform
Over the last 10 years, much research has been presented on the long-term impact of divorce on children and families; yet, it remains a relatively new field of study that we must further explore.
Unfortunately, most of the research that has been done to date reveals a discouraging view of how children of divorce fare—many citing that children of divorce have higher rates of depression, sexual acting out, substance abuse, conduct disorders, problems with school, and delinquent behavior; and that statistically, they are more likely to marry earlier and divorce than children from intact families.
What many of these studies do not tell you, however, is that most of the children presented in these studies did not receive adequate counseling, if any; and their parents were not educated in child-focused decision-making nor did they utilize a child-focused therapeutic and legal support system.
NFRC’s research and programs have found irrefutable evidence that children of divorce do not have to suffer forever. They will of course be very sad and feel the losses they experience forever. However, the experience can also by a catalyst for important and beneficial emotional growth and maturity. What is, in fact, more important than anything else is the way parents handle themselves, and the basis on which they arrive at decisions before, during, and after divorce. These factors will largely shape their children’s ability to grow up happy, confident and well adjusted. It will also influence their children’s ability to form loving relationships of their own in adulthood.
To achieve this level of understanding and commitment to healthy divorce adjustment, it is critical that mental health, education, medical, faith-based, and legal practitioners educate themselves and subsequently guide parents as early as possible in:
- Child development
- The impact of divorce on children
- The non-adversarial choices for separation and divorce
And finally, these same practitioners must commit to working together in a collaborative effort to ensure that the benefits of child-focused decision-making are utilized in every possible case related to separation, divorce, and remarriage.
NFRC: In Partnership with Professionals
NFRC’s comprehensive training for professionals fosters this kind of early intervention and multidisciplinary collaboration: