Chicago has so much to offer, but being a single parent in Chicago might feel like it’s holding you back from living the life you pictured for you and your family. From financial support to building a support system, there are many things to consider. Here, we'll explore some of the things you need to know about being a single parent in Chicago.
Single Parenting In Chicago
Financial Support for Single Parents in Chicago
One of the first and most important parts of finding your feet as a single parent is getting your finances in order. There’s a whole chapter of advice on budgeting and making savings in the book How To Be A Happy Single Parent. As a single parent in Chicago, you may be eligible for financial assistance. Here are some resources to consider:
Child Support: If you're not receiving child support from your child's other parent, you can contact the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services to open a case and receive assistance. hfs.illinois.gov
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF): TANF provides financial assistance to low-income families with children. You can apply for TANF through the Illinois Department of Human Services. acf.hhs.gov
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP): SNAP provides assistance to low-income families to purchase food. You can apply for SNAP through the Illinois Department of Human Services. fns.usda.gov
Housing Assistance: The Chicago Housing Authority provides affordable housing options for low-income families. You can apply for housing assistance through their website. thecha.org
Tax Considerations for Single Parents in Chicago
As a single parent in Chicago, you may be eligible for certain tax credits and deductions. Here are some to consider:
Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC): The EITC is a tax credit for low to moderate-income working individuals and families. As a single parent in Chicago, you may be eligible for this credit. irs.gov
Child Tax Credit: The Child Tax Credit provides a credit of up to $2,000 per child. To be eligible, your child must be under 17 and meet certain other requirements. getmypaymentil.org
Head of Household Filing Status: If you're a single parent and provide more than half of the support for your child, you may be eligible to file as head of household. This can result in a lower tax bill. tax.illinois.gov
Building a Support System
Being a single parent can be isolating, but building a support system can help. Here are some ways to connect with others:
Join the Frolo App for single parents and start building your single parent support group both on and offline. Use the ‘Find Me On Frolo’ feature once you’ve created your profile to connect with single parents you meet offline, too.
Connect with Other Parents: Connect with other parents at your child's school or through extracurricular activities. Don’t let your single parent status put you off from connecting with the families around you: remember, everyone’s family is unique! You may be able to form a carpool or share childcare responsibilities.
If you're looking to meet other single parents in Chicago, here are some ideas:
Create or attend a Meetup on the Frolo app: Create your first local Meetup and find other single parents near you, or attend an online Meetup to find support with the global network of single parents.
Join a Parenting Class: Many community centers and organizations offer parenting classes. This can be a great way to meet other parents and learn new skills.
Childcare in Chicago
Finding affordable and reliable childcare can be a challenge for single parents in Chicago. Here are some resources to consider:
Chicago Child Care Assistance Program: This program provides financial assistance to low-income families for childcare. You can apply through the Illinois Department of Human Services. dhs.state.il.us
Head Start: Head Start provides early childhood education and care to low-income families. You can apply through the City of Chicago's Department of Family and Support Services. chicago.gov
After-School Programs: Many schools and community centers offer after-school programs for children. These can be a great option for working parents.
If you would like to grow your single parent network in Chicago, you can connect with people in a similar situation to you via the Frolo App. You can also connect with other single parents who are thinking about dating, too. Read this post on how to grow your Frolo community wherever you are in the world to get started.
A updated version of Frolo is now available for the best possible app experience, with features on that include enhanced discovery settings, 'Find me on Frolo' and the ability to share meetups and group chats outside the app, plus the ability to post anonymously on Community and to see all your likes in one place with unlimited likes on Dating mode.