One of the biggest concerns that single parents face is the question of how they are going to ensure that their children are properly cared for. Single parents have to work.
This is because the burden of all of the families financial concerns rest on their shoulders. The money is not going to come from anywhere else and it is essential that you take the responsibility and make the effort to work and keep food on the table. However this means leaving your children during the day. Childcare services are expensive, so luckily there is a measure in place in Louisiana to help single parents afford childcare.
Childcare Subsidy Program
In the state of Louisiana it is a well known fact that single parents are simply not always able to provide adequate childcare for their children while they are at work. Single parents have to work in order to make sure that there is enough food on the table. However childcare facilities don’t come cheap and this may make it difficult for single parents to rest easy knowing their child is taken care of. However is Louisiana there is a state subsidy program whereby the state will pay for a portion of your child’s childcare costs of you are eligible for the service.
One of your most important tasks as a parent is to ensure that your children are healthy. However the costs of everything medically related form medicine to medical procedures are extremely expensive. On top of the health insurance options available are often not easily affordable for single parents. This makes ensuring that your child is covered medically speaking can be extremely difficult. However in Louisiana there are a number of systems in place to help single parents cover their child’s healthcare costs. Make sure that you consider all of the options.
The main source of healthcare assistance available out there for single parents and other families who are struggling financially is Medicaid. This is not a free healthcare service, but the amount of money you pay each month will be based on your income. So basically you will not have to pay more than you can actually afford. People with Medicaid are eligible for in-patient hospitalization, dental care, immunization, and x-ray tests. Please note however that the eligibility requirements for Medicaid are quite stringent and that not everyone is able to actually qualify for this form of healthcare service. However, it can’t hurt to find out more and see whether or not this healthcare plan is available to you and your family. As the health of your child is so important you should explore all avenues. For more information, go to the Department of Health and Hospitals.
Ensuring that you can cover transportation costs is another although not as readily recognized aspect of being a single parent and facing the struggles that come with that title. However it is very important that you are able to find a way to get yourself and your children to and from the places that you need and want to be.
If you qualify for Medicaid then you may be in a position to receive non-emergency medical transport. This is not available everywhere and is also not available to all Medicaid members, but the least you could do is ask. Getting to and from standard health checks could be what saves your child’s life. However there are not many transportation measures in place for single parents to benefit from. Therefore it is well worth your while to look into the public transport arrangements available in Louisiana and to consider making use of those. Public transport can be very affordable when used correctly.
Rent / Housing Assistance
One of the most important things that you have to worry about as a single parent is making sure that your children have a roof over their heads. There is nothing more important than this. Health problems as well as their happiness can be directly related to the environment that they are growing up in and consequently it is of the utmost importance that that environment be one that is safe and healthy. A child needs to be guaranteed of a home that will protect them from the elements and keep them warm. However it is not always easy to buy or rent a home that is of good quality, which is why so many low income families, such as single parent families, struggle as much as they do.
Food & Supplies / Nutritional Assistance
Keeping your child well fed is extremely important, but you need to remember that on top of ensuring that your child gets enough food you also have to ensure that the food that they are getting is in fact nutritional. Bad nutrition is linked to a wide variety of illnesses and it is definitely in your best interests to try and find a way to keep your child healthy. That said it is well known that healthy food tends to be more expensive than junk. Luckily there are a number of systems and measures in place in Louisiana to help low income families with the issue of nutrition.
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
One of the options that are open to single parents living in Louisiana is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). This is a source of nutrition and food that comes in the form of a debit card that you will be able to spend at selected stores and on selected items. The food is also guaranteed to be nutritional as one of the main aims of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is to try and combat the problems presented by poor nutrition ion the country. So, you can rest assured that your child is not only receiving food, but also good and healthy food.
Women, Infants and Children (WIC)
Another food related source of help for single mothers is the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program. This is another endeavor that strives to ensure that people from low income families and especially their children receive the food they need. Again, like SNAP, the food is also designed to provide a substantial amount of nutrition as well as merely providing your child with a meal. The Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program is specifically aimed at single mothers with infants or pregnant women.
Education Grants for Single Parents in Louisiana
It is very important that you as a single parent remember to also consider your own dreams and goals at times. You cannot hope to raise your children well if you are yourself unhappy with your situation. Set a good example for your children by doing something like going back to school and studying further. There are a number of individuals and institutions out there who are more than happy to help single mothers with their studies because they know that this will improve the situation for them and for their children. Take the time to consider the available options.
The place to start when looking for government grants for single parents is with FAFSA. There are a number of options available to you out there, but you will not be able to find out what they are unless you fill out the FAFSA form. FAFSA will then provide you with the information you need about what federal aid you are in fact eligible for. This will help you to speed up your search for the aid you need in order to study further and better your situation for yourself as well as your children. It is your responsibility as a parent to try.
General Scholarships and Grants
One of the options that are well worth considering in Louisiana is Louisiana’s Tuition Opportunity Program for Students (TOPS). These scholarships are usually based on merit, but there are several different levels of TOPS awards that you may be eligible for:
- TOPS Opportunity Award
- TOPS Performance Award
- TOPS Performance Award 2
- TOPS Honors Award
- TOPS Tech Program
The following rules apply for TOPS programs:
- Students must be Louisiana residents pursuing programs at a public or independent state college or university
- Maximum award amounts are between $400 and $800
- Students must continue to meet academic standards while engaged in college programs
Another option you may be interested in if you want to study further in Louisiana is the Leveraging Educational Assistance Partnership (LEAP) program. If you have a financial need, as you probably do as a single parent, then this may be the program for you. There are some rules governing this program:
- Eligible recipients may enroll in any college or university program
- Eligible recipients must continue earning a GPA of at least 2.0
- Grants may be $200 to $2000
- Apply by filling out the FAFSA
A third general option that may interest you is The Robert C. Byrd Honors Scholarship, which is in fact available in all states, not just in Louisiana. There are a few facts that you should know about The Robert C. Byrd Honors Scholarship before applying:
- Eligible recipients must be top students in their graduating class
- Eligible recipients must have top GPAs and ACT scores
- Qualified recipients must be accepted into a four-year college program anywhere in the United States
Although the above grants and scholarships are not necessarily directly aimed at single parents, there is no reason why single parents should not benefit from them.
Specialized Studies Programs
There are a number of scholarships in Louisiana that are offered at students who are intending to pursue specific career path as they progress. One of these scholarships is the Rockefeller Wildlife Scholarship. This is obviously aimed at students who are interested in pursuing a career in wildlife. There are a number of different scholarships of this sort available in Louisiana and if you have a particular career path in mind then you may want to consider inquiring at various schools and institutions.
College grants and scholarships
There are a number of grants and scholarships that are offered at specific universities or schools all over the country. If you are interested in a particular school then you may want to start your search for financial aid for your studies at their financial aid department. Studying further is seen as a very admirable thing to do, so there are a number of schools out there that are willing to help you fund your studies in this regard. The least you can do is ask, and the worst they can do is say that there are no such programs so that you don’t qualify. At least you would have tried.
Other Grants or Resources Available
The above information is by no means exhaustive. It merely provides an overview of some of the options that are available to single parents who want to change their situation and make their lives better for themselves and for their children. It is important that you research all possible avenues for assistance in your area. Try churches and non-profit organizations to see what structures they have in place. Use the internet to search for programs that aim to help single mothers in Louisiana get through the tough of time of raising children by themselves in your area. Don’t give up and remember that you are not alone.
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
If you need assistance desperately than you may want to look into the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program which exists to help families get back on their feet. With the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families you will be eligible to financial aid in the form of a debit card that you can spend on various household items for your family. Please note however that you cannot treat this as a permanent solution to your problems. The aid is temporary and merely meant to ease your problems while you get back on your feet.
Originally posted 2011-08-04 05:01:08.