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Finding a single parent support group

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Finding a Single Parent Support Group

Life as a single parent can be tough, but you are by no means alone.  Support groups are dotted all over the country and can be a fantastic source of advice, friendship and information.  Groups will quite often have a specific purpose, so do bear this in mind when you are seeking one to join.  Think about both what you are looking for, and what each group has to offer so you can be sure to get the right fit for you and your family.  Finding a single parent support group will be a great benefit to you and your family,lots of people in the same situation with the same understandings.

What is the Focus of the Support Group?

Meeting new people in similar situations is a common aim of all groups, but some offer additional focus too.  Emotional support is central to many groups.  This can involve anything from regular get-togethers for informal chats and sharing of experiences, to groups who have established reliable contacts with local therapists, coaches or mentors.  If financial issues are of primary concern for you, for example, then a group who actively provide workshops and practical advice and assistance may be more appropriate.

Groups may offer whole-family support as well.  If your aim is to help your kids link with others in similar situations, or activities that may help them in dealing with the absence of a parent, then choose a group that incorporates the children into the meetings and activities at least some of the time.

finding a single parent support group

Composition of the Group

The defining factor for most groups is that all are single parents.  Not everyone finds social situations easy though, and some seek other themes to help them feel comfortable.  For parents who are single as a result of domestic violence or bereavement, for example, a support group whose members have firsthand knowledge of these particular issues may feel like a better fit.  Fathers sometimes find it difficult to find a niche in what are often female-dominated groups, so single Dads may like to seek a father’s group.

Timing of Meetings

Most groups have a range of meeting times and events at various intervals within a given month, so you generally find a time that suits you to join in.  Some groups will only meet once or twice a month though, so if regular contact is important to you be sure to check the timetable before you get involved.  A lot of groups extend their support beyond physical meetings and make use of social media to remain in contact through the likes of online discussions boards or forums.

What does it Cost?

Some informal groups may not charge, but many others do request a contribution in the form of a subscription, to cover expenses such as hiring a room for meetings, activities and professional speakers, or running an online forum perhaps with members-only features.  If your finances are stretched some groups do offer subsidised membership or scholarship schemes.  Money can be tight and this is an investment, so make sure you are happy with the support you will be receiving before you sign up.

What’s in it for the Children?

Getting childcare so that you can attend support group meetings and activities can be problem.  Most groups recognise this and childcare is often provided as part of the subscription.  If funds are tight parents may be asked to take a turn at helping out from time to time.

Depending on the type of group you choose, there may be support directly for your children too.  Art therapy, counselling, and team activities can all help children come to terms with the challenges facing you as a family.

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About Cally Worden

About Cally Worden

Seasoned freelance writer Cally Worden lives with her family and dog in a quiet corner of rural France. A love of the outdoors, and a fascination with her children's ability to view life with fresh eyes provide the inspiration for much of her work. Cally writes regularly for various websites and UK print publications on subjects as diverse as parenting, travel, lifestyle, and business, and anything that makes her smile.

Website: Cally Worden

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