SCHOOLS AND PARISHES
A Growing Need
Each year, over 1,000,000 American children experience the divorce of their parents.1
For all U.S. children, only 47 percent reach age 17 in an intact married family.2
The stress of divorce damages the parent-child relationship for as many as 40 percent of divorced mothers.3
Compared to children from intact families, children of divorced parents did worse when rated by parents and teachers on peer relationships, hostility towards adults, anxiety, withdrawal, inattention, and aggression.4
Compared with children of always married parents, children of divorced parents have less favorable attitudes towards marriage.5
Following parental divorce, children are more likely to abandon their faith.6
Parental divorce is one of the best documented risk factors for marriage dissolution.7
Suicide in children is often triggered by thoughts that their divorced parents have lost interest in them.8
It doesn't have to be this way - if your school or church gets involved.
Why should you help? Because these children are in your church, in your religious education programs, in your parochial schools, and in your community. Perhaps they are in your immediate or extended family also.
Research studies show that structured, small group programs help children and teens cope with parental separation and divorce, enhance their skill development and promote their mental health.
The Calm the Storm program benefits children further by helping them grow closer to God and learn from Church teachings. As a result, they can reach their full potential.
Imagine the difference your parish or school could make, if partnering with Faith Journeys to offer the Calm the Storm program.
They came and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We are perishing!” He said to them, “Why are you terrified, O you of little faith?” Then he got up, rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was great calm (Matthew 8:25-26).
ENTER FAITH JOURNEYS
Faith Journeys offers small group programs specifically for parishes and Catholic schools to accompany children of divorce, offering them the coping tools and psychoeducation they need to thrive not only socially, but also spiritually - all taught through an authentically Catholic lens.
Developed by a Catholic professional counselor and pastoral counselor and recognized by Pope Benedict XVI, Faith Journeys offers the guidance and structure you need to implement this at your own parish or school.
Why a Catholic program?
The Calm the Storm curriculum is faithful to the Magisterium and has received awards from the Catholic Press Association. As such, you can be assured that the content taught in our program upholds Catholic views of marriage and family life.
The program, indeed, is a marriage building initiative.
Unfortunately, these families are in your church or school - 28% of Catholics are divorced. We have a duty as a Church to minister to the needs of the grieving children affected by divorce, because we are called to accompany them in order to ensure that they have secure relationships of their own someday. This program's goal is to let them know that the Church is there to support them, not shame them, for their parents' relationship status.
What does the Calm the Storm program look like?
Faith Journeys provides detailed lesson plans for parish, after-school, and in school programs to meet your organization's unique needs!
Our parish or after-school program consists of 8-10 sessions for children (ages 8-12) and/or teens. Each session is 75-90 minutes per session.
Our in-school program takes place during the school day, held during lunch and recess.
In both programs, live online leader training is provided (small group leaders must have professional experience working with children) utilizing our award-winning curriculum. The training includes instruction for implementing the home component for parents or guardians, and much more!
Want to start a Calm the Storm program at your school or parish?
Our award-winning Catholic small group curriculum isn't the only thing you'll get when you partner with Faith Journeys; we also offer leader training and support calls to help get you started. As a licensed clinical professional counselor and pastoral counselor with years of experience in hosting small groups for Catholic children of divorce, I'll walk you through everything you need to think about from practical, counseling, and spiritual perspectives.
1 Patrick F. Fagan and Robert Rector, “The Effects of Divorce on America,” (Washington, D.C.: The Heritage Foundation, 5 June 2000).
2 Patrick F. Fagan and Nicholas Zill, “The Second Annual Index of Family Belonging and Rejection,” (Washington, D.C.: Marriage and Religion Research Institute, 17 November 2011).
3 Judith S. Wallerstein and Joan B. Kelly, Surviving the Breakup: How Children and Parents Cope With Divorce (1980; repr., New York, NY: Basic Books, 1996), 224-225. Citation is from the 1996 edition.
4 John Guidubaldi, Joseph D. Perry and Bonnie K. Nastasi, “Growing Up in a Divorced Family: Initial and Long-term Perspectives on Children’s Adjustment,” Applied Social Psychology Annual 7 (1987): 202-237.
5 Marlene Jennings, Connie J. Salts, and Thomas A. Smith, Jr., “Attitudes Toward Marriage: Effects of Parental Conflict, Family Structure, and Gender,” Journal of Divorce and Remarriage 17 (1992): 67-78.
6 William Feigelman, Bernard S. Gorman, and Joseph A. Varacalli, “Americans Who Give Up Religion,” Sociology and Social Research 76 (1992): 138-143.
7 Amato, P. R., & Deboer, D. D. (2001). The Tranmission of Marital Instability Across Generations: Relationship Skills or Commitment to Marriage? Journal of Marriage and Family, 63(4), p. 1038.
8 John S. Wodarski and Pamela Harris, “Adolescent Suicide: A Review of Influences and the Means for Prevention,” Social Work 32 (1987): 479.