The Web address
of this article is http://sfhelp.org/sf/help/resources.htm
guidelines on selecting useful resources about stepfamilies and re/marriage,
To avoid impractical, inaccurate, or
toxic stepfamily advice, read this. If you're a
media professional, read this.
Note: listing below does not imply endorsement
of the opinions and services offered.
recommend a Web listing or correct a mistake, please use this
Families - a warm, upbeat, supportive site by bonus-Mom Jann
Blackstone-Ford. The site reframes stepfamily relationships and
titles as bonuses (e.g. "my bonus daughter" vs. "my
stepdaughter" to offset the unpleasant associations with
"step") Sections for "ask the Experts," bonus parents,
teens, kids, grandparents, "ex mate etiquette," and readings.
the Cycle!A nonprofit educational divorce-prevention site for lay and professional people
interested in healing psychological
improving communication effectiveness, and building high-nurturance marriages and families.
This site offers several hundred
research-based articles describing
co-parent projects to over-come five causes of
epidemic U.S. re/divorce. See this for
a link-index of all the free worksheets, quizzes, and checklists in this
here for free discussion
groups related to this unique site.
researcher, educator, and therapist
MSW, has lived in two stepfamilies, and researched them full time since
1979. He has counseled ~1,000 typical (Midwestern) co-parents since 1981, and is
a member of the
NSRC Experts Council. Peter has published six unique, practical guidebooks for
co-parents and supporters, and provides phone counseling at 1-503-293-8385
(Portland, OR, USA).
Childless Stepmoms - this
appears to be a valuable, user-friendly, nonprofit, ad-free site filling where
childless stepmoms can meet, affirm, and support each other. The founder is
Christina Chopin, a 25-year veteran childless stepmom.
- a helpful site from therapist Michelle Diamond, who specializes in
providing "consultation and direct service in the areas of divorce and
stepfamilies." Site includes a newsletter, kids place, parent ed., resources,
and "Ask Michelle."
OurFamilyWizard.com - a
site for parents in divorced and stepfamilies to help coordinate financial
and visitation plans, status and information. Features: the Calendar, the
Information Bank, the Expense Log, The Journal, the Message Board,
Resources, and E-coupons. 6-month, 1-year, and 2-year memberships available
from $55 to $180.
National Stepfamily Resource Center(NSRC) is sponsored by knowledgeable professionals and volunteers
at Auburn University in Alabama. The NSRC continues the pioneering
work begun by the Stepfamily Association of America, which disbanded in
Carefully- This site and
organization were founded by a dedicated step-couple, Bobby and Jo Collins, who formed a
stepfamily in 1994. They offer a quarterly newsletter "for and by
step(people)", and help in developing local stepfamily support groups, based
on their experience facilitating one in Fort Smith, Arkansas.
Stepfamily Foundation - Directed by stepfamily pioneer and author Jeanette Lofas,
CSW., the for-profit Foundation provides stepfamily-support materials by mail,
professional training, and
professional counseling by phone.
Stepfamily Network(website) - "A non-profit service to step parents,
parents, family professionals, and stepchildren. (We are) dedicated to helping stepfamily
members achieve harmony and mutual respect in their family lives." Site pages include
support, a bookstore, questions (and answers),
and a Kids Korner. Dedicated Webmaster is Tom Wohlmut.
The StepStop is Australia's
first stop to stepfamily information, education, resources and support. TSS is
a multi-feature interactive site co-created by Sonja Ridden, featuring articles,
step-stories, questions and answers, chat posts, and a free monthly
newsletter. Many helpful links to other sites.
StepfamilyZone - Helping stepfamilies in South Australia.
site created by John Faulkner and his wife, featuring a positive attitude, resource links, educational
information, articles, a newsletter, and other help for step people "down under" (and us
"up overs"). Worth visiting!
- "the UK's #1 Website" - a peppy, colorful site co-founded by Maddy and Brian Curtis. The site
features sections for mothers, fathers, and chat/chat. Other features are
StepfamilyLiving.com - an
informative, upbeat Web presence from veteran stepfamily educator and
therapist Elizabeth Einstein, MA, MFT.
newsletter from veteran stepmom Karon Goodman. She was the
enthusiastic guide for a valuable stepfamily site sponsored by About.com.
Stones Counseling Center, Inc. - "The professionals who understand
stepfamilies": Robert Klopfer, L.C.S.W., B.C.D.; and Susan Brettschneider, M.S."
115 Pine St., Ridgewood, NJ, USA; 07450; Voice: 1-(201)-444-3686. The website currently
features a newsletter, access to
professional counseling, and info on free
Stepdads.comis one of the few Website for stepfathers, though there are many good
sites for fathers. Tad Benson is
the man to talk to.
Wives CafeA warm, humanistic site dedicated since 1997 to
providing support, friendship, information, and a haven for "woman in
blended-family situations." Membership required for access. Features include
a monthly newsletter, chat and message boards, a place for positive feedback
about marriage (!), stepfamily articles and links, a book-ordering link... -
much to see!
Stepfamilies - A rich source of Christian-oriented education for
stepfamily co-parents, created and maintained by Rev.
L. Deal, M.MFT, and sponsored by the Southwest Church of Christ in
Jonesboro, AR. The site is unique in offering an experience-based course
for "Building A Successful Stepfamily." Visit the site for
information about the course, and related home-study audio cassettes.
Foundation of Alberta (Canada) - new in early 2000, and dedicated
to the cause. A not-for-profit corporation in Calgary, Alberta, Canada that provides a range of specialized services for stepfamilies; training for professionals who work with stepfamilies; and conducts research into stepfamilies.
Co-family Expressions, Inc. An enthusiastic
Website and organization proposing kinder titles for members of stepfamilies - and
offering a line of special greeting cards for co-family members. The energy behind
this creative effort comes from co-moms Kathy McGrath and Jeannie McDonald - and
their supportive co-families.
The Positive Way -
variety of free resources for people interested in creating healthy,
positive, loving relationships. Includes valuable information for singles,
marrieds, and stepfamilies. "Learn how to create a great
relationship one word at a time."
If you can recommend other helpful
resources, or find that any of this information is wrong, please let me
* Listing here does not imply endorsement
of the products, services, or ideas at these sites.
Other Helpful Websites
About.com - a rich source of
information and links about stepfamilies, re/marriage, parenting, and many
other topics - like
Attachment Disorder (RAD), one of six common false-self
"stepfamily" for many
helpful divorce, custody, visitation and support information by state.
Brothers Big Sisters of America - "...is
the oldest mentoring organization serving youth in (the U.S.)... BBBSA has
provided one-to-one mentoring relationships between adult volunteers and
children at risk since 1904. (It) currently serves over 100,000 children
and youth in more than 500 agencies throughout the U.S.
- Promotes quality ("non
angry") fathering via support, education, and legislation. Sponsors an annual
conference; Extensive online library of fathers' rights and fathering-related topics.
Delos, Inc. This is a useful
source of information and international communion on the teachings of
psychologists Hal Stone and Sidra Winkleman-Stone. The Stones'
books and ideas are helpful for
lay and clinical people interested in learning how to work with the
ceaseless inner voices we all have. Many aspects of the Stones' model and
"Voice Dialog" work complement the
("parts work") described here in
- a site devoted to guiding visitors to reputable sources of divorce
law, on the Net and by U.S. state.
- "The Net's largest divorce resource since May 1995." This site
has 11 different chat, and a wealth of practical information for
divorced, separated, and re/married family members.
warm source of inspiration to help include kids in your re/wedding
Family Law Source -
a help site for people seeking more understanding of family law and
related resources. Created by family attorney/mediator Tom James.
FamilyOnwards.com - "A
helpsite for parents and grandparents," by dedicated British senior
psychotherapist Jill Curtis. Over 100 articles on family issues, and
and REFOCCUS -
instrument developed by Barbara Markey, PhD, is a marriage preparation
inventory with maximum adaptability. 156 questions produce
a unique couple
profile which can be tailored for interchurch, second marriage or
cohabiting couples. It comes in four editions: Non-Denominational,
Christian Non-Denominational, Catholic, and Alternate for learning
FOCCUS, Inc. provides an
inexpensive scoring service plus hand and PC scoring options. REFOCCUS is
a marriage enrichment inventory that can be used for either groups or
individual couples. FOCCUS, Inc.,3214 North 60th St, Omaha,
Nebraska 68104. Toll free 888-874-2684 or 402-551-9003;
Advice - a nonprofit source of advice, forms, and chat on a wide
range of domestic affairs. Indexed by state.
Spirituality - a rich site "for counselors and the curious." with
over 200 healthy and recovery-oriented videos and resources by Robert Strock
Without Custody (MWoC)
coaching, counseling and printed resources of emotional support for
separated and divorced mothers living apart from their children.
is a website
was designed by divorced parents, with the help of family law professionals
and technology savvy entrepreneurs, to coordinate family schedules and share
family information. Equally useful for stepfamilies.
Life Innovations (Prepare/Enrich) - a research-based,
re/marriage-assessment service offered nationally by a
network of trained mental-health professionals. Request referrals to professionals in your
area - or get information on training - by calling 1-800-331-1661, faxing 1
(651)-635-0716, or writing Life Innovations, Inc. (Prepare/ Enrich) at P.O. Box 190,
Minneapolis, MN 55458.
- (originally "Rainbows for all God's Children") provides materials,
leader training, and consultation for organizations sponsoring divorce, death, and
re/marriage grief-support groups for kids, teens, and adults; 1111 Tower Rd.,
Schaumburg, IL, 60173, USA; International headquarters: 1-847-310-1880;E-mail:email@example.com
Institute - "the science of relationships for singles,
couples, and previously married" Features a well-tested way of evaluating
premarital and marital relationships, under development since 1979.
bills itself as "the most complete
guide to information about Self Improvement, Personal Growth and Self Help
on the Internet. It is designed to be an organized directory, with articles
and references to thousands of other Web Sites on the World Wide Web.
Help Law Center - provides free legal forms, legal resources, a
reading room, links, and a child-support calculator for Californians
- a resource-rich non-profit national clearing house for educational and
support programs for couples, maintained by Diane Sollee. Sponsors a
well-attended annual conference.
If you know of
other helpful resources or find errors above, please let
* Listing here does
not necessarily imply endorsement of the products, services, or ideas at
groups and chat - Currently, all major on-line services (AOL, MSN, CompuServe,
and Prodigy) have these for co-parents (stepfamily bioparents and stepparents). Though
they can be hard to find, they're worth searching for. Many
stepfamily sites have bulletin
boards and/or chat rooms. I recommend those at
is another online magazine for blended families. It features celebrity interviews, advice columns, book and Website
reviews, and national resources.
Again is "The Only Magazine Designed for Encore
Brides." This quarterly by Beth Reed
Ramirez and staff includes articles on weddings, remarriage, and
stepfamily co-parenting. The website offers some links to "bridal
services," and a reader's survey. See the site, or call toll free
or call your local toy store to see if
they stock these....
LifeStories - is a win-win
game which provides "entertaining conversation between family, friends, and
who have just met; 2 to 8 players, ages 6 to 106."
The Ungame - is a similar
non-competitive, fun board or pocket-card game to help adults and kids learn
safely about each
other. Optional playing-card sets for couples, families, kids (5+),
and teens. Available through Amazon.com (link above), many toy and
Great re/wedding gift for under $20.
Two extensive bibliographies for lay and professional people interested in stepfamily
media and/or published research have been available in print and on computer
disk from the
National Council on Family Relations'
"Focus Group" on Remarriage and Stepfamilies. Call NCFR at
(612)-781-9331, or write them at 3989 Central Ave. N.E., #550;
Minneapolis, MN, 55421 for current info.
Check with the new nonprofit
National Stepfamily Resource Center (NSRC)
to see if they offer an extensive bibliography compiled by the former
Stepfamily Association of America.
If you can recommend other helpful
stepfamily, co-parenting, re/marriage, or recovery resources - or find that any of this
info is wrong - please let me know!
* Listing here does not imply endorsement
of the products, services, or ideas at these sites.
Class-kits and Support-group
online Break the Cycle! self-improvement
courseis the most comprehensive,
practical family resource I've found in 30 years' professional research.
"Building and Maintaining An Effective
Co-parents' Support Group" - a
30-page article giving specific suggestions on
the first meeting, holding effective planning meetings, four kinds of co-parent participants,
and group-process tips to keep your group productive and growing.
article from the non-profit
Break the Cycle! Web site.
"Effective Stepparenting" is a 158-page softcover
covering developing roles and creating a new family
structure, divided loyalties, the
"instant love" myth, competition, discipline, and family rules. Questionnaires,
checklists, exercises, and a bibliography are included. Available from Family Service
America, Inc., 11700 W. Lake Park Drive, Milwaukee, WI 53224; About $20; 1-800-852-1944;
Beginnings: Skills for Single Parents and Stepparents", by Drs. Don
Dinkmeyer, Gary McKay, and Joyce McKay. An 8-session audio-visual package of
materials covering parenting issues, self-esteem, relationships and behavior, personality
and emotional development, communication skills, decision making, child discipline, and
common family conflicts. From Research Press,
P.O. Box 9177, Champaign, IL, 61826; 1-217 352-3273 or 1-800-519-2707, fax
1-217-352-1221; E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
for Adults and Children in Stepfamilies -
developed by Francesca Adler-Baeder, Ph.D. This 12-hour research-based,
educational program curriculum is for remarried or partnering couples and
their children, and focuses on building couple and family strength. The
program uses informational presentations, hands-on exercises, group
discussions, and media.
The 250+ page Curriculum includes: leader lesson
guides for adult and child programs, background readings, hand-out masters,
resource list pre/post evaluation questionnaires, two videos (the movie,
"Stepmom" and "Smart Steps Video Vignettes"), and CD with power point slides,
hand-out files, and evaluation forms). Order from the
National Stepfamily Resource