Emotional support programs for single parents can be similar to support groups, but they tend to be a bit more formal and more targeted in their approach. For example, an organization known as Parents Without Partners has evolved from a local parent-to-parent support group into an international organization that sponsors group discussions, lectures by professionals, study groups, training seminars, leadership training and more for its single parent members [source: Parents Without Partners].
Some support programs specifically exist to help single parents with all aspects of attending college, from offering assistance in securing financial aid to helping parents with children live on campus. Many college campuses also have specialized counseling and support for students who are single parents [source: Higher Education Alliance].
Education programs from local school districts, churches and nonprofits in the United States often offer parenting skills and education classes at a reasonable price. These can also boost single parents' emotional well-being. For example, Comprehensive Youth Services of Fresno, Calif. offers classes for newly divorced parents on successful single parenting. The cost is $165 and covers six sessions on topics like the needs of children and how to share parental responsibilities after a relationship ends [source: Comprehensive Youth Services]. Pathways Christian Fellowship in East Aurora, N.Y., on the other hand, offers free seminars for single parents to develop skills like food budgeting, meal preparation, and dealing with emergencies [source: East Aurora Advertiser].
Organizations like The United Way can also connect parents with parenting skills programs such as Success by Six and Parenting Skills for Teen Mothers. Many of these support programs are free to qualifying members. Others are membership-based organizations that require dues. For example, Parents Without Partners members pay $40 a year [source: Partners Without Parents]. Community education classes typically cost less than $40 per class, but income-qualifying participants may be eligible for reduced rates, in some cases.
If you are a single parent who's considering involvement in some kind of support program, it's a good idea to make sure that the program you're looking at is accredited with a respected nonprofit, unit of local government or educational institution. For more information on support for single parents, follow the links below.
Related HowStuffWorks Articles
- Boulder County Housing Authority. "Resource Directory for Single Parents." 2010. (Feb. 7, 2010). http://bcn.boulder.co.us/pss/spd.html
- CBS News. "Single-Parent Kids More At Risk." 2003. (Feb. 3, 2003) Census Bureau. "Income, Poverty and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States, 2004." 2005.
- Church Initiative Inc. "Church Initiative Inc." 2010. (Feb. 7, 2010). http://www.churchinitiative.org/
- Comprehensive Youth Services. "Successful Single Parenting: Consider the Children." 2004. (Feb. 7, 2010). http://www.cysfresno.org/ssp.htm
- Department of Health and Human Services. "Indicators of Child, Family and Community Connections." 2003. (Last updated July 7, 2008)
- East Aurora Advertiser. "Classes Aimed at Needs of Single Parents." Jan. 30, 2010. (Feb. 7, 2010). http://eastaurorany.com/articles/2010/02/09/news/doc4b61b5e69513c101179769.txt
- Higher Education Alliance. "Welcome to the Home of the Higher Education Alliance for Residential Single Parent Programs." 2010. (Feb. 7, 2010). http://www.singleparentcollegeprograms.org/
- Lutheran Social Services. "Lutheran Social Services." 2010. (Feb. 7, 2010). http://www.lsss.org
- Meetup.com. "Single Parents Meetup Groups." 2010. (Feb. 7, 2010). http://singleparents.meetup.com/
- MomsLikeMe.com. "MomsLikeMe.com." 2010. (Feb. 7, 2010). http://www.momslikeme.com/
- Parents Without Partners. "Who We Are." 2010. (Feb. 7, 2010). http://www.parentswithoutpartners.org/about-who.html
- SingleMom.com. "Resources for Single Mothers." 2010. (Feb. 7, 2010). http://www.singlemom.com/
- Single Parents Association. "Single Parents Association." 2010. (Feb. 7, 2010). http://www.singleparents.org/
- United Way 211. "2-1-1 Call Center Search." 2010. (Feb. 7, 2010). http://www.211.org
- Victoria Single Parent Resource Centre. "Victoria Single Parent Resource Centre." 2010. (Feb. 7, 2010). http://www.singleparentvictoria.ca/