If you are a single parent you know how hard it is to take care of your family; emotionally and physically. However, with the amount of social services in place and a number of non-profit agency programs you do not have to do it all alone.
Find out how you can get by in Australia as a single parent by reducing financial pressures by taking advantage of numerous programs and services. Improve your and your children’s lifestyle by accessing the different social services available for single parent households.
Single mothers and fathers can get help with numerous financial and living needs including:
– Kids school supplies
– Baby items
– Financial subsidies and grants
– Help with bills
– Medical & dental help
– Small loans for essential household needs
If you are a parent in Australia you are entitled to a parenting payment from the Department of Human Services if you qualify. If you are single with children under the age of 8 years old, and meet income and asset tests, then you will qualify for a parenting payment. Income and asset limits may differ depending on your location. You will need to apply through Centrelink, the government’s social payments portal, which will help you through the process. Fortnightly payments can be as high as $737.10. Learn more about Parenting Payment here.
If you are entering an accredited college or university program or a job training program, you may also be eligible for child care fee assistance. You may also qualify for Family Tax Benefits Part A or B, depending on your personal situation. In each of these programs you can apply in one easy step through Centrelink. The system automatically lists which programs you may qualify for. See what benefits you may be entitled to with the Centrelink benefits calculator.
Additional services that can aid in financial support through the government include:
Take Budgetary Control
As a single mother or father, you will need to take absolute control of your finances. If you are not getting any financial assistance from a partner, this can be especially true. Raising children is an expensive endeavour, yet you can make it easier by having a budget plan and sticking to it. This budget should include every possible government support plan, food bank and other community program to help alleviate financial stress. The aim of any budget is to make sure you don’t over spend and to identify areas of savings regardless of how big or small they may be.
Take time lay out a strict budget for essentials that include food, clothing, housing and transportation. Cut back in these areas by purchasing second-hand clothes, enquiring about rent deductions and energy assistance as well as mass transit subsidies.
Take advantage of utility grants that can help pay for or reduce your utility bill costs. In addition, look for low cost health services such as free dental care. Essentially, there are quality low cost or free services for anything you may require.
With the right plan in place, you will save money and eliminate wastage. Remember, having a strict budget does not mean that you can never have family fun. Just be sure to look for as many free options as possible, which usually require planning ahead. If museums have free family days or there are free special events in the community, they can provide great family entertainment for free.
Community & Family – Free Stuff
Just because you are a single parent, it does not mean you are alone. First, in these situations, don’t feel bad about leaning on friends and family as much as possible. A free babysitter occasionally, help with renovations, a ride to the doctors and any number of errands can be received from friends and family if you ask. Lastly, look at the organisations in your community that may be willing to help.
These range from faith-based organisations to military service programs to single parent community support groups. Find a few near you to help with emergencies that include finances and care events.
You can find a range of free services including free diapers to free baby items. In addition, there are partnerships between financial service companies like the banks and non-profits that provide financial assistance in the form of loans for those unexpected situations that require cash.
As a single parent in Australia you can learn to get by if you take advantage of services available to you and combine that with developing a smart budget. Whilst being a single father or mother is difficult, there are support programs and services available throughout Australia.