“My parents got divorced when I was seven, and it’s been really hard since then. I’m afraid that I’ll end up like my parents. I hope that I can one day find someone who will love me for me, and who can promise that even if things go bad, we won’t end up like my parents.” -Amanda
Every divorce has its own story, but in Oklahoma where divorce ranks third in the country, this scene is all too common. More than one million children are affected by divorce each year. In fact, 50% of couples that marry this year will be divorced in 10 years. The commonality of divorce in Oklahoma and can be incredibly traumatic for parents and their children who feel their worlds are falling apart.
Family & Children’s Services (F&CS) is dedicated to helping families through difficult life transitions and in the case of divorce, helping parents understand what a child is experiencing and how to respond to the child’s needs. Our seminar, Helping Children Cope with Divorce (HCCWD), is designed to support parents and help children cope with this transition.
F&CS was among the first in the state to offer HCCWD, a national program emphasizing each parent’s responsibility to form co-parent relationships that will further the best interest of their child, provide nurturing environments for children and stay focused on positive parenting.
Today we partner with the courts to ensure that all parents of minor children filing for divorce or custody attend the class in one of our two locations (Tulsa and Broken Arrow). From 1994 through 2016, HCCWD served 91,326 parents in the Tulsa metro area, not to mention the children in the care of those divorcing parents.
Claudia Arthrell, director of professional services, said, “I am overwhelmingly pleased that parents come away being empowered and knowing that they can help their own children cope with this major life change. Can you tell how proud I am of the program and out great presenters?”
Here are what recent participants said about their experience in the HCCWD seminar. “Excellent class! I adopted tools to be an effective communicator and be present and available for my children in ways that will promote a healthy life. Thank you for doing a great job on a tough topic. I am sure that most people did not want to attend, but in the end, come away a better parent.”