Single parenting has reached historically high percentages in the U.S., with over 24 million U.S. children, or 35%, living in single-parent homes in 2014. A parent who is single due to to never having married, single again following divorce, or widowed, faces a potentially daunting maze of financial hurdles, time management challenges, and childcare concerns.
How is the church called to respond? A simple, direct answer is found in James 1:27, which states, "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." (NIV)
Resources are loosely organized by general topic. In addition to parents who are actually single, parents experiencing a temporary role as sole caregiver due to a health crisis or incarceration of a spouse may find some of this information useful. Some of the resources listed under Adoption & Foster Care, Crisis & Critical Incident, and Prison/Jail may also be helpful for specific situations. Additional information about safety and internet safety can be found under Human Trafficking and Child Abuse. We pray these resources will be a blessing and invite you to use the "contact" link to suggest resources you have found helpful.
The Annie E. Casey Foundation's Kids Count Data Center monitors a number of indicators of child well-being and family structure. The report, "Children in Single-Parent Families," is customizable by state. Additional reports such as the number of children living in poverty, can also be sorted by family structure type at this site.
Statistics on child and family well-being are available through the Child Welfare Information Gateway of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.
U.S. Missionaries Carl and Mari Miller - Assisting churches in reaching out to single moms of their communities.
U.S. Missionary Lois Breit - Ministry to single parents, training for churches in ways to support and encourage single parents, Bible studies for singles. For more information, see article about this ministry at the Assemblies of God Women's Ministry website.
Dennis Franck - Dennis's extensive experience as a singles pastor and single adult ministry director for the Assemblies of God makes him a great speaker for your singles event or a resource for equipping your church to reach out to single adults and single parents. See his ministry brochure here.
"Flourish" Single Mom Care - This U.S. Missions ministry offers leadership training, materials, and resources in English and Spanish to equip the local church for ministry to single parents.
"Salvation for the Single-Parent Family" - from the Enrichment Journal archives, this article suggests several practical ways the church can help. See also "How to Help the Single Parent" from the CRCNA blog.
Training and mentorship materials from the National Fatherhood Initiative - Resources to equip dads for better relationships with their children whether or not they are in the home, help moms encourage relationships between dads and children, church staff training, and much more. Free e-book resource: Guide to Mentoring Fatherless Children.
"One Fit Widow" - Blog and opportunities to connect with people who understand.
Modern Widows Club - Find connections and support online or through a local chapter.
"10 Things Parents and Kids Should Know about the SnapChat App" - It seems that about the time parents catch up on the latest social media craze, teens get excited about another one. This article will help you know what's going on and what to be cautious about.
KidGuard.com - Cell phone monitoring to address safety concerns about cyberbullying and predators.
Free eBook from Covenant Eyes - "Parenting the Internet Generation" - If you aren't sure what, how, or when to teach your kids about the subject matter they may encounter on the internet, or how to encourage safe and healthy use of social media, you'll find help in this free download.
Fathers in the Field - This ministry equips local chapters to match mentor men with boys from single-mom families. Mentor fathers spend time discipling their young charges one-on-one and in group ministry outings, often through outdoors activities like fishing and hunting. Visit their websiite to sign your church up and start a chapter, or if you are a single parent, to find a program near you and enroll your son.
Mentoring resources from the National Fatherhood Initiative - guides for churches and single moms
"The Life of a Single Mom" - Helping single moms succeed through training in finances, parenting, and wellness, as well as connecting them to networking and support opportunities.
Assemblies of God Single Adult Ministries - AG events and news for single adults, plus links to additional helpful ministries, articles, and resources.
The Singles Network Ministries - events, articles, supportive networking, and relevant news for single adults.