The number of single parents in America has risen dramatically since the 1960s. More than 13 million households in the country are made of single parents, both men and women. Staying in touch with friends and colleagues can be a difficult task when most of your time is split between childcare and work, yet many people have been through single parenthood successfully. In the following sections, we provide some steps to help improve your social life.
Apply for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
Once you have a clear understanding of your desired love life, ask yourself why you have not been able to achieve it yet. If your problem is that you do not have enough funds, apply for TANF from your state government. It may help you get grants for basic needs. That way, you can save some of your money for socializing. Note that the grants are not just given to anyone. Your case will be evaluated to determine whether or not you qualify. Additionally, you will be asked to participate in work activities that will help you get back on your feet. As a single parent, the requirement is usually 30 hours per week. Keep in mind that TANF benefits are not indefinite. The government provides assistance for up to 60 months or until you find a new job.
Get Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
Another way to save up some money for improving your social life is applying for SNAP. Different states have different requirements for the program. SNAP, also known as Food Stamps, is a food assistance program by the USDA. Single parents can use it to increase food security and access to the right quality food cheaply, although they will be asked to do several hours of work-related activities, such as community service or employment search. These activities are selected by the SNAP Employment and Training Program, which assists single parents improve their social life and readiness for work. SNAP is meant to help families with little income to afford healthy food. About 46 million Americans with low income benefit from SNAP annually. Some religious organizations operate local food assistance programs that, when coupled with the SNAP benefits, can help a single parent cover nutrition needs.
Get Child Support
Being a single parent, you may be forced to spend most of your time working to pay bills for your children. That does not always have to be the case. If you are unable to socialize because most of your time is spent at work, it may be time to file for child support from your children’s other parents. Your ex has the responsibility to take care of the kids just like you do. You may not be able to get public assistance from the government before you file for child support. The types of government support that you can get include low-cost housing and rent assistance. Reach out to your state office. They are responsible for enforcing child support payments.
Take Advantage of Childcare Grants
Child care grants offer compensation for costs of babysitting and other costs that single parents incur when they have to be away. Use those funds to find safe and reliable sitter service. You can use the time off meeting new people or trying out new hobbies. Most states usually offer childcare services to help your kids grow healthy and well-educated. They are often called Early Start, Head Start and Pre-K. Single parents can save thousands of dollars by applying for these programs if their children meet the age criteria. Watch out for any grants for single parents that your state may offer.
There are plenty of good public colleges where single parents can meet other people. Colleges have individuals of varied backgrounds and you get to meet and interact with many of them. The best thing is that you do not just get to meet new people, you also get educated. Some public colleges offer childcare and other daycare benefits for students who are single parents. Ask around the colleges close to where you live to find out more about their benefits.