There are a number of things for a single parent to worry about. One of the pressing concerns on the plates of single parents is the care of their children.
This is an especially notable problem for single parents who have children that are too young to go to school. Who will look after them while you work? Well there are some programs in place to ensure that you will be able to provide your children with quality childcare while you are at work.
Department of Human Services (OKDHS)
One of the ways in which the government of Oklahoma strives to ensure that the single parents are able to provide adequate care for their children while they are at work is through the Department of Human Services (OKDHS) which offers subsidies to single parents and other low income families to help them cover the costs of childcare. It is well known that childcare is not something that you want to compromise on, which is why this system is in place. If you would like to find out more about this, please take the time to visit the Department of Human Services.
One area of your child’s well being that is of the utmost importance is their health. It is not a good idea to compromise on the health of your child. However it is also a fact that health insurance is not exactly affordable for families in bad financial situations, such as single parent families. This means that if you want to be sure of covering your child’s health you are going to have to look for subsidized health options. There are several options that are available if you know where to look for them and what questions you should ask.
One of the options that are very well worth considering in Oklahoma is Medicaid. This is a subsidized health insurance scheme offered by the government to those single parents and other low income families who cannot afford private medical insurance. The benefits you will be eligible for are in-patient hospitalization, dental care, immunization, and x-ray tests.
There are unfortunately not a lot of options out there for single parents who are trying to find a way to get themselves and their children from point A to point B reliably. There are just simply very few institutions out there that take the difficulties of getting adequate transport into account for single parent families and other families with low income. One way that you could reduce your transport costs is by being very careful about what kind of transport you use. Public transport is much cheaper than driving your own car, for example, so maybe you should look into the public transport options available.
If you qualify for Medicaid then you may be interested to know that in some situations Medicaid offers non-emergency medical transport, which is something that may come in handy for getting your child or yourself to a doctor’s appointment, for example. This is something that you may want to consider if you are hoping to keep your children healthy as well as provide them with the transport that they need for essential things. This program is not always available and can be difficult to qualify for, but it is still worth asking about at the very least.
Rent / Housing Assistance
One of the things that you have to worry about as a single mother in Oklahoma is providing a roof over the heads of your children. This is an essential thing to do but in the current economic climate it is not easy to buy or rent homes that provide adequate shelter for your children or that are safe. This means that you may find it difficult to fulfil this ideal. However there are housing subsidy programs offered by the state of Oklahoma that are open to you to make use of if you are in need of housing assistance.
Oklahoma’s Housing Choice Voucher Program
There are a number of things that you have to keep in mind when it comes to your children. One of these things is the fact that they need to have a place to live that is safe and that they can run. On top of that the place needs to be stable. Moving a lot is never good for a child, hence the existence of Oklahoma’s Housing Choice Voucher Program which exists to try and make sure that single parents and their children have a permanent place to stay. This is a subsidy program whereby the government pays a portion of your rent directly to your landlord.
Food & Supplies / Nutritional Assistance
There are many things that a single parent needs to worry about and one of the more important things is the food that their child is eating. It is enough to feed your child. You also have to make sure that the food your child is receiving is of good quality in order to ensure that they remain healthy and don’t get sick. If you have looked at the prices of healthy and nutritious foods you will have noticed that they are not cheap. This means that you may not always be able to buy the nutritious options. There are structures in place to help you with this, however.
Women, Infants and Children (WIC)
One of the options that are specifically available for single mothers is the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program. The Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program aims to provide women with children who are younger than five years of age and women who are pregnant and expecting a child with vouchers that can be used in exchange for dairy products to keep their children healthy. At that age getting the right amount of milk or formula can be very important for your child’s nutrition, and so this is considered to be of paramount importance.
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
Another option that is worth your while to consider is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). This is a program that offers monetary assistance to single parents and other low income families to help them purchase the food they need for themselves and their families. This assistance is offered in the form of a debit card which you can use to purchase a variety of food. However this debit card will not be accepted everywhere. The food that you will be able to purchase with this card is guaranteed to be highly nutritious.
Being educated is one of the best weapons in you artillery as a single parent as it means that there are more career opportunities open for you and therefore more ways in which t improve the lives of yourself and your children. You may feel however that you are unable to study because you don’t have the money or because you feel that you can’t leave your children while you do so. This is no longer an issue. There are many financial aid programs for single parents available to help you, and childcare assistance programs take care of the other problem. Here are some of your options:
Government Grants for Single Parents in Oklahoma
The first place you should start when looking for financial aid in your studies is FAFSA. Fill out the FAFSA form and return it as quickly as possible to see what kind of grants and loans you are eligible for from the government. There are a lot of options out there, probably more than you even realize, and you do not want to limit your opportunities of studying further by missing out on this one crucial step. You may find that all of your problems are solved simply because you took the time to complete a FAFSA form that provided you with the assistance you needed.
Grants and scholarships
When you fill out the FAFSA application you may have several scholarships and grants for single mothers in Oklahoma that you are eligible for brought to your attention. When this happens you will be able to choose among them to see which ones you prefer and which ones you qualify for. Grants are monetary amounts that are given to you by the government that you do not have to pay back. They are usually needs based. Scholarships work in the same way as grants but are often more merit based than needs based.
Robert C. Byrd Honors Scholarship
One of the options available in all states is the Robert C. Byrd Honors Scholarship, which is a merit based scholarship for top achievers. There are a few eligibility requirements and rules that you need to be aware of when you consider applying for this scholarship. Pay close attention to them to avoid wasting your time and effort.
- 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
General Scholarships and Grant Programs
There are several general scholarships and grants that you may be eligible for in Oklahoma. Not all of them will be suitable for you, but it is well worth the effort required to look into them and see what they are all about. The worst that could happen is that they tell you are not qualified. You may as well look at the option in any case. These are:
- The Oklahoma Tuition Aid Grant
- Oklahoma Equalization Grant
- Oklahoma Higher Education Access Program or Oklahoma Promise program
- Academic Scholars Program
- Regional University Baccalaureate Scholarship
- Foster Care Tuition Waiver
- Heartland Scholarship Fund
- Oklahoma National Guard Tuition Waiver
Specialized Studies Scholarship and Grant Programs
There are certain professions in Ohio that are experiencing a shortage. These areas include things like teaching and nursing, both of which are essential professions. If you are interested in one of these professions you may qualify for a scholarship to cover your tuition:
- Teacher Shortage Employment Incentive Program
- The Future Teachers Scholarship
- Chiropractic Education Assistance Scholarship
- George and Donna Nigh Scholarship sponsored by the Nigh Institute
- Scholars for Excellence in Child Care program
College grants and scholarships
There are a number of colleges and universities that offer grants and scholarships in a hope that this will encourage students to attend their courses. This may be something that is well looking into if there is a particular college or university that you have in mind, the best place to start is at the financial office of the school. Make sure that you ask all of the right questions and that you find out all of your possible options. The worst they can do is to say that you do not qualify for assistance, but 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 parents 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 (TANF)
One option that you may be interested in is the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program whereby families can receive monetary assistance for a variety of predetermined reasons. This assistance comes in the form of a debit card that can be used to purchase food and other household items. It must be noted that you cannot treat this type of assistance as a permanent solution to your problem as it is designed to be temporary and will be withdrawn after a set period of time. The idea is to help single parents reach self-sufficiency.