How Companies Can Support Single Parents

by Mar 13, 2024

Single parents face increased pressure as they balance full-time employment with the responsibility of caring for their children. This heightened pressure comes from various factors, such as economic challenges, limited support systems, and the need to provide for their families.

The United States has one of the highest rates globally of children residing in single-parent households, with nearly one in four children, totaling approximately 22 million, living with a sole parent. This parent might be divorced, separated, or widowed, or they may have never been married, or have a spouse who is absent. The majority of children, about 80%, reside with single mothers, a significant portion of whom are engaged in employment.

Tanzina Vega, a solo parent, journalist, and host of The Takeaway public radio show on WNYC, said that companies need to acknowledge that single parents exist. “A lot of organizations still assume that all parents are in couples, so there’s an assumption that your partner will be there at home if you can’t be. Companies have to acknowledge there are unique issues that single parents will run into.”

 

How Companies Can Support Single Parents

As we celebrate Women’s Month, it’s important to recognize how single moms and single parents contribute to our society. They face tough challenges balancing work and family, no matter their gender. To foster inclusivity in the workplace, companies should understand and help single parents with their different needs.

 

Flexible Work Arrangements

One of the most effective ways companies can support single parents is by offering flexible work arrangements. This could include options such as remote work, flexible hours, or compressed workweeks. By allowing single parents to tailor their work schedules to accommodate their family responsibilities, companies empower them to achieve a better work-life balance.

Learn more on how to incorporate it through our FREE course, HR: Providing Flexible Work Options.

 

Time Off

To support single parents during critical life events such as childbirth or adoption, companies should implement comprehensive parental leave policies. These policies should provide equitable paid leave for both mothers and fathers, recognizing the diverse family structures present in our society. Additionally, companies should ensure that parental leave benefits are easily accessible and free from stigma or discrimination.

 

Child Care Assistance

Access to affordable and quality child care is essential for single parents to maintain their employment. Companies can provide support by offering child care assistance programs, such as subsidies for daycare expenses or onsite childcare facilities. When companies lessen the financial burden of childcare, it enables single parents to focus on their work without worrying about the well-being of their children.

 

Mental Health Benefits

Including mental health benefits as part of the company’s healthcare package can provide single parents with access to therapy, counseling, and other mental health resources. Supporting their emotional well-being is crucial to helping them cope with the stresses of balancing work and family life effectively.

 

Emotional Support

Balancing work and family responsibilities can take a toll on a single parent’s mental and emotional well-being. Companies can offer employee assistance programs (EAPs) that provide counseling services, support groups, and resources for managing stress. Creating a culture of empathy and understanding within the workplace ensures that single parents feel valued and supported in their professional endeavors.

 

Provide Training Programs

Help individuals effectively manage their professional responsibilities while taking care of their personal well-being and family commitments. Training programs can include Self-Care, Balancing Work & Home, Managing Stress and more, and your entire workforce can benefit from them.

Supporting single parents is a big part of making work fair for everyone, and it’s something companies should focus on. By providing enough support, this will not only help the parents but also make the workplace better for everyone. 

Discover our tailored training programs, designed for your workforce, aligning with your organization’s vision, mission, and core values to strengthen your company’s culture. Equip your team with the essential skills to make meaningful contributions to your organization!

Do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions!

Civility is the platform for organizational success—it is absolutely necessary for an organization to reach its goals. Download our Ebook on Seeking Civility to learn more on how to create a workplace free of bullying and abusive conduct.

 

About Catherine Mattice

Catherine Mattice, MA, SPHR, SHRM-SCP is President of consulting and training firm, Civility Partners, and has been successfully providing programs in workplace bullying and building positive workplaces since 2007. Her clients include Fortune 500’s, the military, several universities and hospitals, government agencies, small businesses and nonprofits. She has published in a variety of trade magazines and has appeared several times on NPR, FOX, NBC, and ABC as an expert, as well as in USA Today, Inc Magazine, Huffington Post, Entrepreneur Magazine, and more. Catherine is Past-President of the Association for Talent Development (ATD), San Diego Chapter and teaches at National University. In his book foreword, Ken Blanchard called her book, BACK OFF! Your Kick-Ass Guide to Ending Bullying at Work, “the most comprehensive and valuable handbook on the topic.” She recently released a second book entitled, SEEKING CIVILITY: How Leaders, Managers and HR Can Create a Workplace Free of Bullying.

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