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The fact that single mother assistance is not completely working may be a surprise to only a few people. There are too many different family situations and too many different laws in the different states to construct a totally reliable single mother assistance program. A variety of issues are of concern to anyone working to improve the lives of single mothers and their families.
One concern is the level of work available. Many single mother assistance programs encourage a mother to work. Many mothers would be happy to have jobs that pay above the minimum wage. Many jobs can help single mothers pay the bills, but those jobs donít allow mothers to save much money. When some catastrophe occurs, the mother or a child gets very ill, for example, there are no savings accumulated that a mother can use to help with the medical bills that most single mother assistance programs wonít cover.
Jobs that would allow a woman to acquire some savings and get ahead usually need some advanced training or education that may not be available. The single woman is then stuck in a cycle in which she has a job and can pay her bills, but sinks back into poverty as her wages donít keep up with inflation.
Child care is another problem with many single mother assistance programs. Many jobs that a woman can get do not pay the costs of the child care programs the mother needs for her children. There are some situations in which the mother could acquire more money by not working, staying home with her children and accepting government assistance. Many women prefer to work because the ability to provide for herself and her family allows the woman to develop increased self-esteem, which then allows her to think of acquiring an even better job and thus a better future. Single mothers, however, need to be able to provide for their children and they find good quality child care expensive.
The women who unexpectedly become single parents and need single mother assistance programs donít always know how to locate appropriate resources. In some cases, the agencies that provide single mother assistance also have documentation requirements that are difficult for many women to complete. They may not, for a variety of reasons, have the documents necessary to complete the process to request assistance.
Many women discover that they need strong support systems to succeed in their lives. The lack of the support system may be part of the reason they need the single mother assistance in the first place.
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