Around 2.7 million kids in the United States have a parent in prison or jail. Single mothers and children in this situation go through a lot of stress, including physical, emotional, and financial hardship. Many organizations and institutions recognize that having a parent in prison can cause many difficulties for single mothers and their children, leading to childhood trauma, poor health, and adverse childhood experience.
Many children witness their father being arrested and other stressful situations beyond incarceration, like trial and sentencing. Single mothers can ease their children’s trauma when a parent is imprisoned by trying to keep their kids’ situation as stable as possible. Creating a safe, nurturing environment for children will help them with the significant loss. When a child’s parents are in jail or prison, it is common for a single mother, being the primary caregiver, to feel overwhelmed with a lot of responsibilities. Most of them have to juggle parenthood, meet the household expenses, and care for their children alone. The government and private organization addresses the financial and emotional difficulty of mothers and their children when a parent is in prison and assists them with many supportive services and financial assistance programs.
How To Support Children As A Single Mom When A Parent Is In Prison?
As a single mom, it becomes challenging for many women to help their children cope with significant losses when their father is imprisoned. As primary caregivers, mothers can ease the trauma by encouraging active skill-building and looking into programs to help them. Single mothers should evaluate whether they are eligible to qualify for social welfare assistance and meet their household expenses. Programs like Medicaid, Temporary Assistance For Needy Families, and housing assistance in such cases can reduce their financial burden. There are a lot of community programs that are designed especially for children of incarcerated parents and single moms. By opting for these programs and financial resources, you can avail of many supportive services, from counseling, therapy, and mentorship for yourself and your children. Caregivers can also consult with the pediatrician of their children to identify other necessary local resources within their community and help their children to thrive.
Single Mom Father In Jail: Financial Assistance Programs And Grants
Following are a series of programs and financial resources that are provided by the government, local communities, and nonprofit organizations that help single moms and their children to cope with emotional and financial stress while a parent is in jail.
1. SKIP, Inc.
This is a program that is focused on saving kids from incarcerated parents. The program has franchises throughout the United States to help single mothers and their children thrive and succeed. The program works with primary caregivers to establish a positive and supportive relationship with their children. The program offers academic and behavioral empowerment programs to assist single mothers and their children when one parent is in prison. In addition, the program also provides an online community for teenagers in age between 13 to 17 so that they can share their ideas and thoughts freely. A wide range of online resources from their volunteer training includes printed resources and community programming by Skip Inc.
2. SNAP, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
When one parent is in jail, it can become difficult for single mothers to provide nutritional food to their children. The government is aware of the expensive childcare cost, which is why there are a lot of assistance programs for needy single mothers and families that assist them with food and nutrition. One such program is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, previously known as the Food Stamp Program. This program provides monthly financial assistance to eligible single mothers to access nutritional food and groceries nationwide.
This Atlanta-based program enables single mothers to give an excellent opportunity to their children so that they can psychologically experience the impact of having a parent imprisoned. This organization offers many programs for single moms and their children so that they can nurture their children emotionally, educationally, and socially. The organization also provides after-school programs so that young children can stay in a safe environment and can also interact and communicate with other children who are in similar situations. Harmful parental incarceration can create a negative impact on the lives of young children. Financial assistance for single moms and children who are dealing with parental inconsideration helps them to adapt to the unfortunate situation and move towards self-sufficiency.
4. United States Dream Academy
The United States Dream Academy is a mentoring program that operates in ten major cities throughout the United States. The program supports and mentors programs to encourage academic achievement in the personal character of children from single-parent families having one parent in jail. The mentoring programs not only help develop a positive character in children but also help them excel academically. The primary objective of this program is to break the family cycle of incarceration. If you are a single mother willing to boost the academic performance of your children and help to build a strong and positive character, then you can approach the United States Of Dream Academy. The mentor programs will help you develop the personality and school performance of your children when your partner is in prison or jail.
5. Child Care And Development Fund
The Department of Health and Human Services manages and administers the Childcare And Development Fund. Through this fund, the financial stress of low-income families and single parents can be eliminated as this program subsidize the daycare costs. Single mothers whose partner is in jail and wish to attend a school or work to attain financial stability can apply for this program. Financially challenged single mothers find it difficult to find affordable childcare services while attending work, training programs, or school. The Child Care And Development Fund is one of the trusted, widely known child care assistance programs throughout the United States. Each month, this program assists more than 1.4 million children to get a better life and helps single mothers reduce their financial burden. The benefits that you can get through this program may vary depending on the state where you are living. A one-person family below the poverty line can receive assistance of up to $3000 through this program.
6. Mentoring Of Children Of Prisoners
There are a lot of federal grants intended for children of incarcerated fathers and available state-right mentoring programs. One such federal grant is the Mentoring Of Children Of Prisoners. It has funding of a total of $15 million, out of which it pays 2 million in entitlements and grants to non-profit organizations, school districts, and government-run organizations. The main objective of this grant is to keep families united and attempt to prevent children from replicating the illegal behavior of their parents.
7. TANF, Temporary Assistance For Needy Families Program
This program was designed for low-income families as well as single moms so that they can reduce their financial burden and can attain self-sufficiency. Single moms who are looking for ways to provide support to their children and families while a parent is in prison can apply for TANF benefits. The cash assistance that qualified single mothers receive can be used towards food, housing, clothing, and other necessities. The Temporary Assistance For Needy Families Program is a viable resource for single mothers seeking cash assistance and childcare services. The program also assists them in getting a job and provides a better standard of living for their family.
8. Hour Children
If you’re a single mother of children and your partner is imprisoned, you can approach Hour Children, which offers many comprehensive and practical services to families of incarcerated individuals. This organization has been assisting local communities for more than 25 years. There are a lot of visions as well as community-based resources that assist single mothers and their families when a parent is imprisoned. The main objective of this organization is to transform the lives of struggling single moms and their children and help them achieve self-sufficiency. More than 76 children have benefited from the mentoring program offered by the organization. Organizations have also provided supportive housing to more than 199 women and children.
9. Project Avary
The mission of this organization is to enable children to heal from the impact of having one parent in prison. If you are a single mother looking to provide emotional support to your children so that they can cope while their father is in jail, then you can approach Project Avaru for support and long-term mentorship programs and hence develop leadership skills. The main objective of this organization is to free children from generational cycles of incarceration and trauma.
10. Child Care And Child Health
Single mothers and their children have a lot of emotional and financial stress when one parent is in jail. Many single mothers fail to provide high-quality healthcare and medical services to their children because of limited financial resources. There are many accessible or affordable health insurance programs designed in the United States to assist single moms and their children. Medicaid, Medicare, and Children’s Health Insurance Program or CHIP are examples of government health insurance programs that single moms can qualify for if they meet the eligibility criteria. There are a lot of medical services that are covered by these programs, such as checkups, immunization, hospital treatment, mental health services, doctor visits, and medications. The Child Health Insurance Program offers many supportive services to low-income families like single mothers. There are more than 9.6 million children that are enrolled in the CHIP program in the USA.
11. Friends Outside
This is a proactive children and family advocacy organization that assists single mothers, children, and incarcerated individuals to cope with the trauma of incarceration and arrest. The organization enables single moms and their children to find a new direction and achieve self-sufficiency. The organization advocates for the rights of children of incarcerated parents. Single mothers with incarcerated partners can find many supportive services for themselves and their children through this organization.
12. AFOI, Assisting Families Of Inmates
This organization aims to offer opportunities for meaningful and regular visitation, supportive services, and referrals to local and community resources. The Assisting Families Of Inmates is one among the handful of programs that provides support to single mothers and their children while a parent is in prison across the United States. It creates opportunities for single mothers and children growing up in challenging environments.
Several foundations and organizations assist children of incarcerated parents to avoid damaging behavior, cope with the situation, and ultimately succeed. When a father is in jail, it can be challenging for single moms and children. Kids need emotional and mental support from both their parents. Single mothers being the sole provider and breadwinners of the family, have to meet the day-to-day expenses of the household and raise their children single-handedly. The above-mentioned need-based grants and financial assistance programs aim to help children, and struggling single mothers reduce their emotional and financial burdens while a parent is incarcerated.