Sometimes mothers find themselves alone with the responsibility of raising their children. In Polk County, Fla., parenting solo does not mean that you are alone. Many services are available to assist women who struggle with the financial, physical, spiritual and housing challenges of being a single mom.
Child support is something every single mother is entitled to, according to SingleMom.com. Undoubtedly, the process and paperwork can leave moms feeling overwhelmed and sometimes so confused they give up. If you are a single mother in Polk County, Fla., don’t let this stop you from pursuing financial independence. The Florida Department of Revenue (http://dor.myflorida.com/dor/childsupport) offers information, resources and help to properly file for child support and custody. Visit the Polk County Lakeland Service Center (http://socialsecurityhop.com/offices/social-security-office-lakeland-fl-33813-florida), where you will also find assistance with child support as well as resources to apply for a variety of helpful services offered. The website also has local Social Security office links and other information for single moms.
Health and Well-Being
The Florida Department of Children and Families offers a wealth of resources and assistance to help financially struggling single mothers maintain health and well-being for themselves and their children. Single moms can visit www.myflfamilies.com/service-programs/access-florida-food-medical-assistance-cash, or call 866-762-2237, as well as visit in person at the Polk County Lakeland Service Center, to apply for services including food assistance, Medicaid and temporary-cash assistance. They can also share resources for affordable child care, affordable insurance and other community resources that benefit single moms. Single Mom Assistance (www.singlemomassistance.org/city/fl-lakeland) is another helpful site to find a variety of community resources to help out with finances, shelter, utilities, food and medical and dental needs.
For single mothers who have not finished high school, check out www.polk-fl.net/students/collegeandcareer/workforce/ged.htm for resources to earn a GED and become prepared for college or find sustainable employment. School Soup (www.schoolsoup.com/scholarship-directory/state/florida/special-situation/single-parent-home) offers resources for single-parent home scholarships that they describe as especially beneficial and specifically targeted for single mothers who sometimes have to give up their dreams of continuing education due to financial challenges and juggling classes and child-care responsibilities. The website is a helpful resource where single moms can search scholarship opportunities and college information for Polk County. They confidently claim to have the world’s largest scholarship database, offering both private and school-sponsored awards, including government grant and loan programs, as well as online college information, online degree programs and career school information. The Federal Application for Federal Financial Aid (FAFSA) is another great financial resource for education. Single moms can visit www.fafsa.com or speak to a financial aid counselor at the school of their choice.
Reach out within the community and you will find help, guidance and friendship with mentors and other single moms all throughout Polk County. Churches, such as Victory Church (http://victorylakeland.org/ministries-volunteer/ministry/women/), offer a variety of women's programs. Local community centers offer events and activities for single moms. Empowering women so that they can build better lives for themselves and their families is the mission of The Women's Resource Center (www.wrcfl.org). The center has served Polk County since 1984, and is a great place for single moms to find avenues to learn and empower themselves and strengthen community relationships.