As the statistics for single parent families living in the United States continues to grow, these families are often living on the borderline of poverty without financial, emotional, and family support. Meanwhile, the government continues to pose questions about what types of support are useful and which ways that tax dollars can best be spent toward aiding these families in the most helpful manner.
Single Parent Income Potential
Because of the fact that many single moms have not had the opportunity to finish college, or even high school, the income earning potential for these families is highly limited. This means that single parents, particularly single moms, are not able to progress in their employment situations because of lack of training or education. In addition, the cost of daycare makes a one parent-family in that much more of a difficult place than a two parent family which may be able share the costs through double income. All of these things combined create what sometimes probably feel like mountains against success that cannot be overcome.
Helping Single Parents
Although some people may argue that the government is so far into debt that the economy cannot afford to help single mothers pay for college. On the other hand, there are others who believe that the government can not afford to keep from helping. With 43% of children in single-mother households living below the poverty level, there is obviously already government assistance taking place in helping these families to be fed and have their medical and educational needs met.
In an effort to promote the ability for these families to be able to care for themselves with only one parent, it may be helpful to provide them with the means and opportunities to be better able to support themselves rather than rely on the support of the government funds. One way of doing this may be to provide single parents, particularly mothers, the ability to go to college for a reduced payment or even for free.
In some people’s minds, the idea of providing scholarships and college money for single mothers often takes on the same vein of the proverb about fishing: Give a man a fish he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish, he eats for a lifetime. But rather than discussing fish, the idea in this scenario is discussing the advanced educational opportunities to put single parent families in a better position.
Scholarships for Single Moms
Mostly provided by state governments, although some are at times sponsored by privatized agencies, scholarships created especially for single moms are available to help with not only tuition, textbooks, and living expenses but also with child care, transportation, and other various needs that single parents might face in order to be able to attend college. Usually, instead of providing loans that have to be paid back, these are grants or scholarships which make it so that single parents can attend college and emerge with a degree without a giant pile of student debt. This allows them to move into a viable career and increase their standards of living in a smooth manner.
In this way, promoting the educational and career advancement of single parents brings the hope that these families will be able to be more economically able to provide for themselves. Of course, this does not always turn out to be the case, but when single mothers and fathers are given the best opportunities, it often turns out that they are much more able to be much more productive members of society.
The question of whether or not governments should get involved with the education of single parents is a difficult one. However, if there is a strong chance that helping with college education for single moms will provide them more financial and career stability in the future, then the family not only benefits but the communities benefit. As these families are able to break the cycle of poverty and push through into more financial security, there should be less of a draw on social services and allows them to be productive, tax-paying members of society who are able to provide for themselves.
Image via Flickr by Ashleigh W