All programs for single mothers are there to help you over a difficult period in your life. The ultimate purpose is to help you to become independent and self reliant in as short a period of time as possible. Programs are arranged to provide you with the best opportunities so you can get a start in life with your children. Programs cover a number of
needs. The most basic programs available are for housing, education, living expenses, parenting skills and mentoring. None of the programs are designed to pay your entire living expenses. They are designed to tide you over by supplementing your income through specific services.
1. Government Programs for Single Mothers
Government provide financial support either directly, or most commonly, indirectly through other locally administered aid funds for single mothers. Some of the programs that are available are:
· State funded job training
· Subsidies for child care
· Educational grants and scholarships
· Housing grants
· Utility grants. The Home Energy Assistance Program provides grants for utilities, according to your income.
· Child tax credit is available to low-income families
2. Housing Programs for single mothers
Many Single mothers need assistance either with somewhere to live, with paying rental or mortgage payments.
· Government does assist through the HUD programs, which are state run.
Before signing up for a house, you should consult with a HUD agency.
They give excellent advice about possible options for your level of income.
· Section 502 programs of the Department of Agriculture help low-income
families buy or repair homes in rural areas if you are interested in living in the country.
· Federal Housing Administration Loans for buying houses have lower down payments and closing costs. The loans are backed by the Federal Government and are available to low-income families.
· Local governments often have programs to help needy people with down payments, closing costs and mortgage payments. Contact your Municipal or local Government for details of any housing programs in your area.
· If you need emergency housing the best place to go for help would be your local community or churches. They will know who to contact and will help you with your urgent needs.
3. Assistance Programs for Single Mothers
Single mothers often find themselves stranded with very little, or no money. If you are in this position, there are places you can turn to for help.
· TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) will provide a monthly stipend to needy families, but they do have criteria that you must meet. Individual states operate the fund, but Federal Government supplies the money. Contact a TANF branch in your state.
· The Social Security Administration provides food stamps or coupons, which are redeemable from specific grocery outlets. Aid is calculated according to your income and the number of people you support.
· Medicaid is available for low-income families to help with medical needs. Benefit awards are in accordance with your income. If you are pregnant, you should apply for Medicaid as soon as possible.
· Never overlook your local community resources such as churches or charity shops. They often help with childcare programs and supply cheap food and clothing through community donations.
4. Programs For Teenage Mothers
A whopping 750,000 teenagers become pregnant each year in the USA. More than half of these keep their babies. Many teenage mothers have very little family support. Private institutions and government have made programs available to help teenage mothers. These programs include accommodation, medical costs, provision of physical needs and mentoring.
· HUD, Government’s Department of Housing and Urban Development, operates a Second Chance Housing program especially designed for low-income teenage mothers. Group homes are provided. Teenage mothers are also helped with information about child care and work skills. The idea is teach life skills that will help you become independent as soon as possible. Contact HUD in your area for more information.
· Emergency housing and safe places can be arranged through local community centers
· Mentoring for teenage mothers is a very important aspect. Look for a “Start Right” or an “Insights Teen Parent Program” in your area or online. They will advise you about how you can go about completing your education and will teach many parenting and life skills.
· WIC (Women, Infants and Children) is a Government sponsored program to make sure that needy people receive proper basic nutrition. Baby milk formulae are also provided when necessary. It is operated through the Food and Nutrition Service.
· There are other state assistance programs such as LEAP (Learning, Earning, and Parenting), in Ohio and the TPS (Teen Parent Services ) in Illinois. Find out if your state has a similar program and how you can benefit from it.
5. College Programs For Single Mothers
One of the most pressing needs of a single mother is to get the opportunity to complete or improve your education so you can get meaningful employment. There are many grants and scholarships available for this. Single mothers in particular have an excellent chance of being awarded a grant or scholarship. Scholarships are awarded to both graduate and post-graduate students.
You can get scholarships through
· many individual colleges once you have enrolled
· Government award scholarships in many specific fields especially science and medicine
· private scholarships are available in almost all fields.
· Government grants available to complete your high school education.
Contact your local college and they will be able to give you the necessary information to fit your income and field of interest.
6. Parenting Programs for Single Mothers
Single mothers have many responsibilities and many tasks at home as well as at work. One of the most difficult things for a single parent is making all the parenting decisions on your own. Motherhood is learned over time. We all have to learn to be good mothers. There are many parenting programs available to teach parenting skills. The programs will save you making many common mistakes and reassure you that you are doing the right thing. You will be taught how to cope, what help is available and how to best care for your child. Parenting programs are available for single mothers and are well worth attending.
NOSAM is the National Organization of Single Mothers. It is an excellent site to join for up-to-date information about many aspects of single motherhood. They will also tell you about parenting programs in your area.
7. Counseling Programs for Single Mothers
Single parenting is never easy or straightforward. Children of divorced parents often have issues that need to be resolved. There are many times when you get lonely or depressed and need a friend, a mentor or counseling. Many websites for single mothers have blogs that can be followed. You can ask your questions and read articles written by women who have been through the same experiences. You can make good friends and create support groups through these blogs.
ACF (Administration for Children and Families) provides information about many things that affect single mothers or pregnancy. They fall under the Department of Health and Human Services. They can advise about possible resources available to help you.
You as a single mother are not alone. There are many government and private programs for single mothers that can help you. Take advantage of all the help you can get. Make use of the information above and be the best mother you can be. We are there for you!