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How to Start a Single Parent Support Group
Being a single parent often means being tired, overwhelmed, stressed and constantly sacrificing your own needs for whatever your children require. It can help to share your stories and get support from other parents who are living in similar situations to you. Single parents can be a great comfort to one another, and can listen and relate to what you are going through in a way that your other friends and family members cannot. If there is not a support group in your area, consider starting one. Start a single parent support group by inviting other single parents to join, finding a reliable location and maintaining a support network that is beneficial, social and interesting.
Determine the best way to run your support group.You can have an online group, or one that meets in person.
- Remember that there are already several online resources for single parents. You can join established groups including Parents Without Partners and Single Parents Network online. A group that meets in person would likely be more meaningful for single parents.
Develop a mission.A single parent support group might offer to provide resources, information and support to parents who are raising children without a partner.
Find others who can help you get started.
- Talk to the single parents you know, and ask if they would be willing to help you get a support group started. Talk to other parents at school, on the soccer team and at the daycare where you take your kids.
- Work with your initial group of founders to divide up responsibilities. Put one person in charge of meeting logistics, and another in charge of publicity.
Find a location for your meetings.Many support groups meet at churches, libraries, community centers and hospitals.
- Look for a place that will not charge you for the space. A conference room or a basement will often accommodate any size group.
Decide when and what time you will meet.Most support groups meet once or twice a month. Since most single parents work, an evening or weekend meeting might be best.
- Set your first meeting for a time and day that works well for you and your first members. There will always be scheduling conflicts for some members of the group, especially as it grows.
- Publicize your support group by hanging flyers, posting ads in community newspapers and free online sites such as Craigslist.
- Use word of mouth. Single parents often know other single parents. Talk up the group any time you get the opportunity.
Hold your first meeting.
- Set an agenda, but keep the meeting flexible. Allow everyone to introduce themselves and talk a little bit about their experiences as a single parent.
- Discuss the mission of the group and ask members what they are hoping to get from the support group.
QuestionI want to start a support group for single mothers, I am one too. Can you please help me with the issues the we should be raising during the sessions?Top AnswererTo start with, you can ask the members of your group what issues they would like to raise. If they haven't got any issues, look at what's happening in your area to see if it could have an impact on your group; for example, is a school closing, is a new playground opening, have the library's hours changed? If there are no local issues, look at the national news and see if there are issues your group could use some support with. If your group is all doing great and not in need of support, you can talk about the ways you can make things even easier for yourselves or fun things.Thanks!
QuestionAside from talking, what else do single parent support groups do, like event-wise?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerAwareness campaigns, sponsored runs/cake sales, etc. to raise money for single-parent charities, exchange childcare details, etc.Thanks!
How do I build a support group into a non profit?
- Remember that childcare might be an issue for your members. Consider providing complimentary childcare while your group meets. Look for volunteers who would be willing to take care of the kids while the group meets.
- Consider serving food at your meetings. This can put people at ease. Maybe members can take turns bringing a snack to each meeting.
Video: Single Mom - Where Do I Start?
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