Lives of single mothers.Single mothers in US face challenges as they try to make ends meet for their children. They undergo difficulties both financially and morally as they attempt to give their children decent lives. With minimal or low income there is need for government intervention in form of welfare to help them care for their children. Since most of them only have college or diplomas finding well paying jobs becomes extremely hard.
Single mothers face the difficult challenges due to low job opportunities in their neighborhoods, inadequate child support enforcement programs, minimal government benefits and their low level of human capital due to minimal education human capital entails education work experience and on-job training.Single mothers are required to provide food, shelter and health care to their children. Single-handedly and with their low incomes they are faced with food insecurity and housing problems. Approximately 54% of low income families are composed of single parents who work overtime when trying to satisfy their demands. (www.secondharvest.org). Most of them have two casual jobs to increase their incomes.
Due to their low incomes single mothers are unable to provide adequate food to their children.A study shows that over 35% of the single mothers were food insecure. (www.secondharvest.org).
Their food insecurity prevalence is higher than the prevalence to the whole nation. Their food insecurity is responsible for their constant rates of depression. Job insecurity and low wage jobs are responsible for the job insecurity. This consequently affects their health status and they constantly worry of where they will get the resources for childcare.
The federal government should incorporate a system whereby the single parents and more so the single mothers’ food insecurity levels are reduced. Administrators and policy makers ought to handle their plight diligently to improve their living standards. Food insecurity leads to depression and has negative impact on the single mothers’ lives and their children. (www.ess.
usagov).Despite their challenges in searching for employment single mothers receive minimal benefits. With decreased benefits even a raise in wages will not yield positive impact in their lives. A $450 monthly increase in wages can result to $ 600 decrease in benefits. (www.gothamgazette.
com). This creates a situation where a positive movement in employment decreases the public benefits. This move should be eradicated as it only works to deteriorate the single mother’s standards of living. Higher wages translates to ineligibility to government benefits like food stamps and day care. Poverty strikes the single mothers who work just as it strikes the unemployed.
Welfare reforms are not enough is ensuring that the single mothers in US live decent lives. They encourage women to work but the work does not uplift them from the poverty levels they languish in. Employment does not offer a viable solution to the plight of single mothers.
Most of them struggle to acquire some form of formal education to supplement the little they have. Again most jobs provide little or no benefits and have restrictions in terms of flexibility. They offer little time to provide quality childcare and this has a negative effect on the children of single mothers. The available jobs for single mothers are poor both qualitatively and quantitatively. The wages are minimal and the situation is worsened by the lack of benefits like health and sick benefits, flexibility, safety, child care, security, minimal training, and create fear for the workers. Most of these jobs are emotionally degrading as they are characterized by time clocks, surveillance cameras and rigid rules. (Www.Lowwagework.
Org).Single mothers who work for longer hours lack the time to cater for their children’s welfare. This is due to the rigid schedules that most low-paying employees have. Child care is further jeopardized by overtime, night time shifts and changing schedules. Allocation of duties could be haphazard and thus difficult to predict. 80% of low-income working mothers do not receive employment paid health benefits for themselves or their children. 38% do not get benefits from Medicaid, Child Health Plus or Family Health Plus.
Most single mothers live below the poverty lines despite their tireless hard work. Medicaid caters for the medical care of low-wage earners. (Www.
Lowwagework.Org).Most single mothers work in jobs that have high turnover rate low pay and minimal benefits. High turnover means that they are not permanent and job security is minimal.
Better training opportunities should be put in place where more skills could be acquired. This would help them advance as they can get better paying jobs but the social support services offered by the government should not be withdrawn. (www.
gothamgazette.com).The education of single mothers and their children is affected by their plight. Approximately 26% of children in low income families live with parents who have less than a high school education. With the challenges that they face it is hard for them to advance academically. The federal government ought to increase the budget for school funding to enable more enrolment in the schools.
Approximately 53% of the single mothers in US lack paid sick leaves while 61% have no paid vacation. (www.gothamgazette.com). Most of their time is spent working and with minimal benefits they have to make difficult decisions. A single mother could be torn between caring for a sick child or dependent at the expense of the day’s earning or her job especially when health benefits are not offered. The quality of work done by these single mothers can be improved if they were given incentives like paid vacation where they can enroll for some form of training.
The government can assist the single mothers a midst their turmoil. It can provide financial aid to assist single mothers attain college education while taking care of their child or children. It can increase its expenditure on education can enable them realize their academic dreams. Young single mothers can benefit more from this provision.The government can also provide lower or no cost health insurance so that the single mothers can afford. This move would benefit them in the sense that they will attain quality and affordable healthcare. Again, they will not worry about losing their jobs while caring for their children or dependants.
Children’s health should not be compromised due to lack of affordability of their parents. To this respect the government can offer free child health insurance thus reducing the financial burden for single mothers. ‘A healthy nation is a wealthy nation” and the education of these children could be negatively affected if their health is jeopardized.The health of the single parents is also at stake when they forgo healthcare due to their lack of affordability. The quality of their output can be negatively affected by their health. Single mothers are unable to provide quality medical care for themselves and for their children because they cannot afford it.The wages they receive are very minimal to cater for their obligations especially caring for their dependants.
Minimal attention to their children due to minimal time availability can see their children underweight or facing health complications. Bringing up a child is a job by itself that requires resources and time. Combining the work roles and child upbringing entails many challenges.Current welfare system provides care for the single mothers only when they are not employed.
Support reduces when such mothers move to the workforce. They are faced with the challenge of earning low wages while getting minimal benefits. (www.gothamgazette.com).The government can also lower single parent’s taxes so that their wages are not very minimal. With reduced taxes their gross salary or wages can be higher and they can improve their living standards.
Then, they can afford to pay rent and acquire health care. The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) can increase the incomes of single mothers. It can offset part of their tax liability and lower the regressive effects of taxes like property taxes and sales taxes credit offered would make employment more attractive. EITC entails the giving of financial aid to those working but earning very little to enable them lead decent lives.
(www.gothamgazette.com).To solve the rampant housing problems that single mothers face in trying to offer safe and decent lives the government can offer housing assistance to more families. This move will improve their standards of living as the high expenses they incur in paying rent will be eliminated.
The money used to pay rent can be used for other essential goods or services like buying food for their families or accessing quality health care.Provision of grants by the government for basic education and GED courses would help raise the living standards of single women. With such training they can acquire important skills to enable them fit in the job market. They are faced with difficult challenges when searching for job opportunities while they are not well qualified. Enrollment in basic education would be a stepping stone to advanced academics.Most jobs that offer low wages offer little or no job training.
Without job training single mothers cannot acquire the required skills and experience required in the job market. Without the experience and skills it deems hard for them to rise or excel in their jobs. The government can intervene in ensuring that it offers training in its departments while encouraging employers to offer job training to their employees. Job training will be beneficial in enabling women acquire economic security. Career education is also very important for single mothers.
Increased mother education, on-job training and increased child care subsidies will lead to the economic stability of single mothers. The government can also create more job opportunities as without adequate opportunities the training would not be well utilized. The government must be ready to increase employment opportunities so that those forced out of welfare are not faced by crisis. Government should provide the adequate resources to enable single mothers acquire job skills. Raising the minimum wage to levels that the single mothers can be able to support their families above the poverty line would have a positive impact.
In creating jobs for the single mothers the government can provide incentives though subsidies to manufacturing or industrial firms to modernize their firms to accommodate single mothers.Family allowance programs can be incorporated to supplement the single mother’s low wages such allowances would see to it that single parent’s access quality and flexible child care. Child support enforcement programs can also be incorporated so that fathers contribute in rising of the children where possible.Government expenditure on job training can lead to increased number of women seeking jobs and those who solely depend on welfare can be reduced. Wages earned can help cater for their basic necessities; the standards of living of single mothers can consequently be raised.The government should be at the forefront in ensuring the self-sufficiency of single mothers. Empowering the single mothers would lead to a decline in child poverty and children can acquire quality food health and education. It can help in ensuring that fathers who abandon their children are found through the enforcement of child support program.
Due to their low incomes single mothers tend to live where house rent is affordable to them. Such houses are located in unsafe neighborhoods that are predisposed to drugs and crime. Affordable housing is an obstacle to their self sufficiency. Some single mothers could live in shelters, old motels, tents or with crowded extended family members. The federal government through the Department of Housing and Urban Government can establish strategies to provide government assisted housing programs that would ensure single mothers live decently. It can also offer public housing to those who are in dire need of houses for instance those who could be living under bridges or shelters.Single mothers without high school diploma can learn how to writer social studies, sciences literature and mathematics.
This will ensure that they attain basic skills which can enable them advance in their education. These skills are also important in ensuring that they become better citizens. Work experience is very important in ensuring that one attains a job in the market.
Post secondary education is also very important in determining and improving ones economic well-being.Work requirements and the time limits enforced hinder them from advancing academically. Provision of longer periods of training would benefit the single mothers as they can acquire more skills and tact.
The education system can also be modified in such a manner that it does not hinder the effective completion of college degrees for the single mothers. Poor single mothers can have their education costs subsidized by the government. With minimal restriction single mothers can complete their studies as they attend to their multiple responsibilities.With reduced taxes some single women can leave the welfare and get employment especially when welfare programs seem to offer more rewards.
Government expenditure on welfare would consequently be reduced. Tax reduction would therefore offer dual effects. (www.gothamgazette.
com).Single mothers who are not well conversant with English language face a greater challenge as they search for jobs compared to those who know it. Communication barrier is created by the language hindrance. Jobs that available for those who cannot understand English low paying for instance cleaners. The government should support free English language. Training courses to ensure that single women are well conversant with English. Works cited:Beth Shulman, the Betrayal of Work H.W Low-Wage Jobs Fail More Than 30 Million Americans Retrieved On 17th January 2008 from http://Www.
Lowwagework.Org/Shulman.Htm David R. Jones. Single Mother: Working, but Still Poor 2006. Retrieved On 17th January 2008 from http://www.
gothamgazette.com/article/socialservices/20060810/15/1931 Facts of low income families. Retrieved On 17th January 2008 fromhttp://www.secondharvest.
org/learn_about_hunger/fact_sheet/lowincome_families.html United State Department Of Agriculture Economic Research Services, The Economic Of Food Farming Natural Resources And Rural America. Food Assistance and Nutrition RIDGE Project Summery. Retrieved On 17th January 2008 fromhttp://www.ers.usda.gov/Briefing/FoodNutritionAssistance/funding/RIDGEprojectSummary.asp?Summary_ID=141