The Effects of Divorce on Young People: What are the needs and how could the Church respond?

The purpose of this research project was to explore the impact of divorce and begin to highlight those effects.
Through doing this I was able to draw conclusions and make recommendations to those working with young people about how to respond most effectively to those affected by divorce.
I have been able to identify that there is already a high awareness for those effects but support is potentially restricted due to many workers feeling under equipped in dealing with divorce as an issue.
It has been possible to see that divorce is still considered to be a taboo subject and I have concluded that this issue is something that needs addressing in order to move forward to ensure that young people feel the greatest level of support.
I have touched on the idea of the church as a family and the importance this has in the development of a child. Although it is not always possible to prevent a trauma or crisis from happening, the family of the church can have a positive role in walking alongside those young people.
Drawing upon the experiences of those working with young people and individuals who have experienced divorce themselves, I have been able to identify any discrepancies and differences in the responses and use these responses to engage with possible recommendations for the development of practice.
Sharing the effects of my parents’ divorce has enabled me to positively use my own experiences in order to inform my own practice but I have paid close attention to reflexivity and the issues of auto-ethnography.
I have attempted to collate each angle of research in order to reflect the issue of divorce honestly and openly; challenging the church to respond to divorce in a similar way. Having discussed the visible effects of divorce and the ways in which people feel the church are responsible for supporting people I have been able to identify any needs and challenge the current attitude towards divorce.

Jemma Phillipson

Jemma graduated with a BA (Hons) in Youth & Community Work and Practical Theology in 2014 from Midlands CYM.