Single parent support groups
come in many shapes and sizes. Most of them offer a variety of excellent programs for single moms and dads. However, before you decide which support group to join, you'll want to consider your unique needs and compare them to the distinct features of each support group available to you. To help you, here is a checklist of questions to ask when selecting a single parent support group.
What is the focus of this particular single parent support group?You'll want to know what interests a potential support group is focused on before you determine if its the best fit for you and your family. For example, if your primary need is emotional assistance, you might benefit most from a group that puts you in touch with a mentor or coach. On the other hand, if your primary need is help navigating your financial situation, you'll want to connect with a group that offers workshops and practical assistance.
Where and when does the group meet?Most single parent support groups offer a variety of activities at different times throughout a given month. However, some group may only meet biweekly or monthly. So if you need consistent, ongoing support, you might look for a group that meets weekly or in combination with an online discussion board or forum.
Is childcare provided?
Most single parent support groups do provide childcare
during their regular meetings. However, you'll want to know whether there is an additional fee involved, or whether you might be required to volunteer in the childcare room occasionally.
What activities are available for my children?Participating in a single parent support group will provide your children an opportunity to associate with peers who are going through similar life challenges. Some support groups even provide group counseling for older children and access to art therapy activities for younger children. Look for activities that meet both the interests and age-level of your children.
What are the dues?Most single parent support groups collect dues monthly or yearly, which go toward the cost of programming. If this presents a challenge for you financially, you'll want to ask about potential scholarships. In addition, many groups offer additional features, such as a magazine subscription to a single parent publication or access to members-only areas of their web site.
What if I can't find a local group?
If you don't find a single parent support group in your area that meets your needs, consider forming a group of your own
. As a founding member, you'll be able to build a group that meets your needs and includes the types of activities and discussion groups that you're looking for.