Family Support Programs
If you are a parent who is considering exploring the world beyond ultra-Orthodoxy, we know that the risks are particularly acute. Approximately one-third of Footsteps members are parents who came to us as they grappled with redefining their relationships with their spouses and children. This can include the sticky issues of divorce and custody. Through our Family Support Program, Footsteps seeks to help members resolve these matters as smoothly as possible.
Footsteps staff is available to meet with you to provide emotional support through what is often a difficult time, as well as information about the separation or divorce process and to connect you with other members who have been through the experience.
Through a partnership established between Footsteps and NYLAG (New York Legal Assistance Group), family law services are available to qualified members of Footsteps. Free/affordable services help members obtain divorces, custody, visitation, child support, orders of protection and other legal support. Footsteps also provides workshops with professionals from NYLAG to help educate members on legal issues.
A core element of FS programs is having a community of peers who understand what you are going through and can offer a friendly ear. Whether you meet people at social events, family outings, peer support groups, or are matched with volunteer court companions, the Footsteps community is here for you.
The Family Issues Handbook [click here to download] was created by the combined efforts of a number of Footsteps members, staff, and supporters. We hope this will serve as an invaluable resource for the countless individuals grappling with issues of separation or divorce amidst a religious transition. With this handbook, we aim to help people better understand the divorce and custody process and its potential ramifications. Our hope is that parents who decide to leave ultra-Orthodoxy can lead lives according to the terms of their choosing without sacrificing custody of their children.
This handbook is meant as a starting point. If you are facing these challenges, please reach out to Footsteps for support and guidance. To set up a time to speak with a Footsteps staff member, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 212.253.0890, ext. 7.