The following relates my experience volunteering in my very first 13 week session of Divorce Care 4 Kids (DC4K) back in 2011. Since that time, I have gone on to lead a number of DC4K groups at multiple locations and will lead my next group starting in mid January of next year.. I hope that you will find this telling of my experience both informative and useful. Ultimately, I hope in some way that it will lead you to getting involved in DC4K ministering to children of divorce or ministering to hurting kids in some other capacity.
One question that I get asked more than any other since I started working with children of divorce is:
What can a church do to minister to children of divorce?
I believe there are number of things that the church must do in order to truly minister to children of divorce. One significant thing a church can do is to start a support group for kids who have been, or are going, through a divorce. The best program that I am aware of for churches is Divorce Care 4 Kids (DC4K).
What is DC4K?
DC4K is a special group to help your children heal from the pain caused by a separation or divorce. DC4K provides your children with a safe and neutral place to recognize and learn to share their feelings.
For 13 weeks your children become involved in a fun, caring group at a church near you. The weekly session topics help your children learn that God’s love strengthens them and helps them turn their sadness to hope and their anger to joy.
Each session is filled with motivating and exciting activities. Games, crafts, role-playing, discussion times, journaling and activity books help your children process the divorce and move forward in their lives. The music CDs, snacks, read aloud stories, exercises and Bible verses teach your children to relax and rest secure in God’s love. The Kids Like Me and Stories from the Bible video dramas present stories of children just like your children, who are experiencing divorce-related problems and have found help and encouragement.
DC4K is a powerful ministry for kids 5–12 years of age.
What Topics Does DC4K Cover?
During the 13 week course, the DC4K curriculum covers a variety of topics in a setting where your kids can feel safe. The topics covered by week include:
- What’s Happening to My Family?
- God Loves Children in All Kinds of Families
- Facing My Anger
- Journey from Anger to Sadness
- I Am Not Alone
- God’s Plan for Me
- Developing New Relationships
- Developing Money Smarts
- It’s Not My Fault
- Telling My Parents How I Feel
- Loving My Parents
- Moving On: Growing UP and Closer to God
What Does A Child Experience at a DC4K Session?
Although you can customize what you do for any given week, a common session might include:
- A video presenting circumstances that a child of divorce can relate to.
- A video presenting a relevant Bible story.
- Journaling and drawing pictures in a child’s Activity Book.
- Arts and crafts projects which allow children to express themselves.
- Singing and listening to music.
- Playing games.
- Connecting with leaders and other children of divorce.
- Stretching and exercising to help reduce stress levels.
- Reading scripture.
- Eating together.
How Do I Find a DC4K Group in My Area?
Go to http://www.dc4k.org/findagroup and enter your zip code, or search internationally, to find a group in your area.
An Introduction to My First DC4K Experience
When I originally envisioned this article, I didn’t expect it to be as long as it eventually turned out to be. I thought I might hit on some the highlights and some of the things I learned from my time and be done. In the end, I decided that perhaps the best thing I could do was to give you a glimpse into our class itself so that you can see how a class like DC4K can impact the adults who run it and, more importantly, the kids who attend.