When I began to research the issue of ministering to children of divorce, one of the very first people I was introduced to was Linda Ranson Jacobs. Since that time, she has become a continued source of information and encouragement. Linda writes a weekly article here on DivorceMinistry4Kids. In addition to that, she also maintains her own website at Hlp4.com. In the early days of my research, I spent countless hours reading the articles on that site and learning from Linda’s vast experience and wisdom.
One of our goals here at DivorceMinistry4Kids.com is to share resources which we feel will benefit our readers. Hlp4.com is such site. I’ve asked Linda to answer a few questions about the site to tell us a little more about it. We’ve already published an introduction to Linda here at DivorceMinistry4Kids, so we will focus entirely on the site in this article.
Tell us a little about Hlp4.com. What is the purpose of the site, and what lead you to create it?
I developed hlp4.com because I wanted to help different groups of people. I feel in our world today that we have several groups of people that need healthy loving partnerships surrounding them. Single parents and kids from single parent families are the main groups. However there are what you might call sub groups of people such as teachers, child care staff and church leaders to name a few who work with children in single parent homes. Many times these kids need extra attention or understanding in order to help them survive and thrive in our world today.
Grandparents are another group. There are more and more grandparents having to parent the second and sometimes even the third generation. Many times the grandchildren have complicated issues that need to be dealt with and many grandparents are a lost as what to do to help them. I started the grandparent section when I got a call one day from a friend. She had been divorced and remarried. They had been married for several years when her husband was called on to take in his grandchildren or the state was going to place them in foster care. She needed some help in understanding how to take care of these kids.
Another reason for developing hlp4.com was because I have a need to write. After my divorce I learned that I had the ability to write. I didn’t know that before but I started journaling and writing and discovered that the Lord used my experiences to help others. When I went through my divorce there just wasn’t much out there to help Christians heal and survive. I wanted to help others so they wouldn’t have to go through what I did and so they wouldn’t make the same mistakes I did.
I also wanted to have a place where people and groups who need someone to speak could find me. I do parenting workshops and seminars for single parents. I train DivorceCare for Kids leaders. I train children’s workers in trauma and crisis of children. I also do a really great seminar on brain research and how to apply it to children in crisis.
What type of information can people expect to find on Hlp4.com?
Single parents can find articles to encourage them and to help them raise their children. They can find a new monthly devotion at the beginning of every month. Some of the devotions have discipline tips. Some of the devotions are meant to draw them to a closer relationship with God. Other devotions are just meant to encourage single parents in their journey as they parent the next generation of kids.
Child care workers and teachers can find helpful articles. I’m just starting to post articles for military parents. My daughter is deployed to Afghanistan and I’m learning first hand about how to care for children with a deployed parent. The Lord has blessed me by putting me in a community where almost the entire community is associated in some way with several branches of the military.
People can also find a list of helpful resources and links.
Most recently Church Initiative has set up HLP4.com to allow me to sell several of their products. Churches can now go directly to HLP4 and order DivorceCare, DC4K, Single & Parenting an GriefShare. One way I support myself is through the sales of these products. I can also train leaders in all of these programs.
Who is Hlp4.com intended for?
Single parents; kids of divorce, death, desertion; adult children of divorce; grandparents parenting again; people who work with challenging behavior kids; foster care parents and military families
Tell us a little about the name of the site. Why did you choose Hlp4?
The name stands for “Healthy, loving partnerships 4” For…..single parents, children of divorce, children of death of a parent; adult children of divorce, foster care kids, military parents and for people who just need healthy loving partnerships.
How often is Hlp4.com updated?
Almost every week; the first of every month I post a new devotion; for various holidays I post new articles or devotions; about once a week I post a new article for children’s ministers or church workers to help them understand and educate themselves about the child of divorce and children in single parent families.
Most recently I’m starting to post stories for adults to read to children. I feel children are not read to enough in our world. Reading to children can help develop healthy relationships. If people want to email me with certain specifics I will write a story especially for them. This started when my own sister passed away and left some grandchildren that needed an explanation.
When I developed DivorceCare for Kids one of the components was a read aloud storybook. As I saw kids put themselves in the stories and connect with the kids in the stories I knew I would write more stories and HLP4 gives me that opportunity.
What else can users do on Hlp4.com?
They can email me with questions or concerns. I love to coach single parents who are having discipline problems with their children or they are getting calls from schoolteachers, grandparents, child care workers, etc.
I pride myself on being able to help people find information. If I don’t have information that someone needs, I can usually find them a resource.
People can print out an article/devotion and use it for themselves or for others. At this point in time all of the articles and devotions are free. All I ask is that they give me credit and include the disclaimer at the end of each article that’s been posted.
People can write or call me and request articles that address specific areas.
And again churches can order DC4K, DivorceCare, GriefShare and Single &Parenting.
DivorceCare is a 13-week program to help people experiencing the separation or divorce. It helps people understand and learn to cope with their anger, sadness and other feelings. DivorceCare helps people heal before they get involved in another relationship.
DC4K, DivorceCare for Kids is a 13-week curriculum to help children whose parents are separated or divorced. It helps children heal and develop a relationship with Jesus Christ.
GriefShare is a 13-week program for people who have experienced the death of a loved one. It helps them understand the overwhelming grief one experiences during the loss.
Single & Parenting is a 13-week program to help single parents learn to parent effectively. It was designed for single parents who are divorced, never married or who have lost a spouse to death. Many subjects and topics are covered including tips on how to parent; on financial issues and even on when to start dating.
What is your favorite article at Hlp4.com?
That is a tough question. Probably if I had to choose I would say the series of articles titled “Single Parent Stages”. They discuss my observations of the three stages I believe single parents experience as they learn how to become a strong and healthy single parent. Of course any of the articles that talk about my own kids are very special to me.
What else do you want people to know about you and HLP4.com?
I want them to know that they can find various subjects that I do workshops and seminars on and call me or email me to discuss bringing me to speak to their group.