Divorce rocks the very foundation of family life and most parents and children can benefit from guidance on how to survive this traumatic experience emotionally intact.
There is strong evidence that divorce can negatively affect the psychological well-being of spouses. Separation and divorce require people to adapt to rapid change, which can undermine an adult's ability to parent and leave the children at risk for anxiety and depression.
Families In Transition (FIT) offers parents and children a six-hour educational program on how to effectively cope with the problems that result from divorce. The program is typically offered to children ages 5 to 17, although ages may vary by county.
The program helps parents respond appropriately to their children's divorce related concerns. It helps parents work together to meet the needs of their children, which makes them less likely to return to court to resolve their differences.
The program has two main goals. The first is to prevent or reduce divorce-related anxiety, aggression, depression and behavioral problems in children. The second is to improve the social skills that help children adjust to divorce and enhance their chances for a healthy future.
The program teaches families the skills they need to resolve disputes on their own, which reduces the number of disagreements requiring court intervention. Research shows that skill-based programs are more effective than programs that simply provide basic information.
The FIT program has received national and international attention. It has been used as the model for programs in 65 communities in the United States, Ireland and South Africa.
One parent and the children attend the program at the same time but in separate sessions. The other parent attends the program at a different time. The classes meet in small groups to promote discussion on how to handle the complex emotions experienced by those affected by divorce.
Each participant receives a workbook to use during the program which serves as a resource once the course is finished.
For parents who want to learn more, optional classes may be available following the completion of the required classes. Check with your facilitator to find out what is available in your community.
FIT is currently offered in the following counties:
Anderson, Barren, Boone, Boyd, Bracken, Bullitt, Campbell, Carter, Clay, Clinton, Cumberland, Elliott, Estill, Fleming, Franklin, Gallatin, Green, Harrison, Hart, Henderson, Henry, Jefferson, LaRue, Lee, Lewis, Lincoln, Marion, Mason, Metcalfe, Monroe, Morgan, McCracken, Nelson, Nicholas, Oldham, Owsley, Pendleton, Perry, Pike, Pulaski, Robertson, Rockcastle, Shelby, Spencer, Taylor, Trimble, Warren and Washington.
v Increase children's competencies by teaching skills to identify divorce-related feelings in themselves and others
v Reduce children's feelings of isolation and misconceptions about divorce
v Increase children's awareness of how divorce affects their parents
v Increase appropriate ways children can respond to anger
v Develop parental competencies by teaching skills to handle children's divorce-related concerns, co-parental relationships and parenthood relationships