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Strategy to Help Encourage Sharing, Bonding, and Coping

Children First Program

Children First provides divorcing parents the opportunity to learn about the effects divorce and changing family situations have on children. Parents are introduced to methods of minimizing the negative consequences of divorce on their children. Particular focus is on making parents aware of the various ways their children may express their reactions to the changing family structure.

At the time parents approach a legal divorce, most are emotionally upset and primarily focused on the changes in their lives. Even though they care greatly for their children, many parents find it very difficult at this time to recognize and respond to the needs of their children. Because of this, classes are most helpful for parents at the beginning Children First stages of the divorce.

The class emphasizes the best interest of the children both during and after the divorce; helping parents anticipate and plan for problem situations and prepare for future events involving their children. Children First is not therapy. Participants are not asked or encouraged to disclose personal information.


The Children First program costs $40 per participant and *pre-registration is required by calling (417) 761-5430.

  • Burrell offers the Children First class in Building B of the Main Center Campus.
  • Separating couples should not attend the same class.

When & Where

Main Center, Building B
1300 E. Bradford Pkwy
Springfield, MO 65804

Every Wednesday
6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

*Must register by Wednesday at noon

24-Hour Crisis Line

If you or a loved one is experiencing a mental health or substance-use crisis, please call our toll-free 24-hour telephone line. Our team can help provide immediate assistance.

Southwest Missouri: 1-800-494-7355

Central Missouri: 1-800-395-2132

National Help Line: Call or Text 988