Support Groups for Single Parents

Archived Q&A and Reviews


Nov 2010

RE: Single Parent Social Groups

I am a single parent who is a member of the Bay Area Single Parents Meetup group. It is a wonderful group of caring parents with children in all age ranges. There are many activities (with/without kids) occurring each week. The majority of activities are in the South Bay (the group originated there) but as more people from the East Bay, SF and Marin areas join there are more events posted occurring in these areas. Check them out! single parent with many new friends!

Single Parent Group/ Divorce Support

Sept 2008

I am in the midst of a separation and am feeling overwhelmed, alone and really tired. I have a pre-school-age child and am looking for a support group. I looked through the archives but did not see anything recent. Thanks. Anon.

I offer a group for divorced / separated / single mothers, as I know there is a need during this difficult time to connect with others, have a place to process all the changes in an atmosphere of support, reflect on how to best care for a child (or children) and oneself, and gain new perspectives. One group starting week of Sept 29, and in it are moms of pre-school age children. If this group does not work for you, contact me anyway as I start new ones periodically. Groups meet every other week in a series of 6 - 8 sessions at the rate of $30/session (sliding scale if needed). Can be continued into a next series when possible. I have about 20 years experience facilitating groups, am a licensed MFT, mother of two and divorced myself. Please contact me for further information or other resources., 510-528-9551. Yvonne Mansell

I am sorry for the pain you are experiencing. I was there years ago and still recall how hard it was. I did not join a group but rather started befriending the parents at my kids' school who were also single. To this day the majority of my friends are single and we are our own support group. Ask some other single mom to meet you for coffee or some other casual gathering and go from there. single mom

Single Moms Support Group in Berkeley/Albany?

Sept 2007

Can anyone recommend any support groups in Albany- Berkeley area for single moms that are struggling to deal with day-to-day pressures of having to be both mother & father and all that that entails physically and emotionally, as well as provide financially? A group that is faciliated by a mental health professional would be ideal but would like any suggestions. Thanks. very concerned

This is a free program for single moms run by the U.C. Berkeley Psychology Clinic - classes start soon!

Starting in late September, the U.C. Berkeley Psychology Clinic will be offering New Beginnings - a free ten-week program for mothers who have at least one child between the ages of 3-18. A key aim of the New Beginnings Program is to facilitate children's adjustment to divorce or separation. Interested mothers should contact the clinic at 510-642-2055 or email newbeginningsucb [at] New Beginnings Program

I haven't found a group solely for Single Mom's yet, though Banana's in Oakland offers a single parent support group on Monday evenings. Their website/online calendar info is: and the group info is below:

SINGLE PARENT SUPPORT GROUP Being a single parent has its challenges and advantages. Come and share your experiences with others going through similar joys and frustrations. This group will be facilitated by Rachel Sarah, author of, Single Mom Seeking: Play Dates, Blind Dates, and Other Dispatches from the Dating World.'' Rachel's writing about single parenting has appeared in Family Circle, Pregnancy, Parenting, Literary Mama,,, and Limited free child care is offered but you must register by calling 1-510-658-7353.

Hope this helps! a fellow single mom

This is in response to the writer looking for a Single Mom's Support Group. There is a MFT in Albany named Yvonne Mansell who runs wonderful parenting groups. I believe she may be setting up a single mom's group currently. Her group's are well run. I have never had the experience of one person dominating, or running over on time.

On the contrary we have each been encouraged to share what is working for us and what is difficult and to ask for help from the group. Yvonne is respectful of different lifechoices but still willing to get in there and deal with the painful nitty gritty details of life. Because there is a ''mindfulness'' undertone, many of the comments encourage compassion for oneself and one's children. Another tact often taken is to broaden one's outlook. But Yvonne, a single parent herself, is not afraid of things just being the way they are -- even if it's messy or ugly. This group is not so high-minded that it's out of touch with reality -- Yvonne is just trying to bring a little mindfulness in to the struggles of daily life.

The other thing I like about her groups is that they meet every other week (good for a busy schedule) and that they are small (3-5 people) enough to reallly come to know each other. In short, I always leave the group feeling much more capable and supported than when I came in, and isn't that the idea? On bonus nights, I've gotten ideas from the group that have permanently changed the way I parent -- bringing more kindness and awareness to our family life. If you're interested check out her web site: Suzanne

How to find Divorced parents/single parent's group?

April 2007

After moving back to the States with my young daughter two years ago, I haven't had much success in finding a great group of single, fabulous parents to socialize with. Anyone know of groups, support or otherwise for single parents? There's only one in Berkeley I found through Bananas, and I'd love to know of more options. Where are all the other divorced (or just single) parents here in Rockridge/Berkeley? I've joined a great synogogue, but am the only single parent there (amazing, but true). Anyone interested in an intellectual/artsy book club along these lines? Or starting a support group? Where are the other divorced parents?

Although I am not a single or divorced parent, I wanted to respond as I recently saw an article in the April issue of Parent's Press re: single parents. It mentions resources for Single Parents on pg 11 of the newspaper which might be of interest to you. This paper is free and available at many baby stores. Hope this helps! Paula

The current issue (April) of Parents' Press monthly newsletter lists resources for single parents. In your area, it lists ''Single Parents Rock'', a local nonprofit and support group for single parents. They meet on Mondays at 6:30 pm, Tumble and Tea Cafe, 4210 Telgraph Ave (at 42nd street), Oakland. . Hope this is helpful. ym

There are some resources I know of. The YMCA in down-town Berkeley offers a singles group on some Fridays. I lead mindful parenting groups and lately have added a group for mothers who are single/divorced/separated. In facilitating the first group, we ended up talking more about the process of the moms than on parenting. Feel free to contact me about information on such a group, or look at my web-site The women from this first group are planning to continue meeting informally (in the Rockridge area), and I can put you in touch with them. I hope you get several responses and find the single moms that are certainly out there! Yvonne

We're here, we're tired, we're stressed and over burdened beinging bread winner, book keeper, bandaid applier, chef, cleaning person, taxi, bank, entertainment, social coordinator, doctor, nurse, teacher, tutor, and both Mom and Dad. I would love to get together with other divorced / single parents (as most of my still married and single childless friends have abandoned me), but I guess here we get to the difficulty and why there aren't more groups - When do we find the time? How do we afford the baby sitter? I'd love to be part of a book club, but at 3 pages a night before I fall asleep, it would have to go verrrrry slow. In any case I'm here! And I know of MANY others, we just don't have much time for the usual types of socializing. But, please, don't let that discourage you - Start a group and we may come! Feel free to put me on your list. Thanks and Good Luck. K.

Where are the other fabulous single-mothers/fathers?

April 2004

Where are the other fabulous single-mothers/fathers? I have been living in the Bay Area for three years now. My child is one year old. I work part-time as an accountant and the rest of the time as an artist/dancer. My son and I have a fabulous life, but there is a huge hole where there should be friends and community. I have some friends, but none with kids that still want to do things. I see many families in the east bay, but where are the single-parent families? Having friends without kids makes me feel a deep split in my life. I am either ALONE and hanging out with my kid or paying for a babysitter and out with friends feeling ''guilty.'' Where are the potlucks, the friends who just ''drop by'', the playdates? Can anyone recommend a single parents group or know any other single-parents who still lead fabulous lives, but could use some parent friends? I am a bit pagan in my beliefs, but have actually considered joining a church just to have some community around. HELP! Holly

One group that was not mentioned in the archive of single-mother resources is Single Mothers by Choice ( ). I have been a member of this group since before I conceived my son and found it to be a great source of support, especially when I was pregnant and then when he was little. We have a very active local group; feel free to email me for contact info. Jennie

Looking for single parent support group or social group

March 2003

I am looking for a single parent support group or social group in the Berkeley/Oakland area. dawn

Bananas hosts a single parent support group -- call them at 658- 7353 to find out more info. Jennifer

Support group for newly single moms?

July 2002

Does anyone know of a support group for newly-single moms in the Oakland/Berkeley/Alameda area? I am recently separated, with a 1- and 4-year-old, and would like to talk with other moms in similar situations.

I don't know of a group in the Oakland area, but there is a Single Parents' Support Group in Lafayette at the Lafayette- Orinda Presbyterian Church. It is on Mondays from 6:30-8:00 and is facilitated by Liz Hannigan, CHT. It is very reasonable, only $5.00 per session and there is a sliding scale. There is also free childcare.

Additionally, I will be facilitating a support group for children of divorce, starting in late August. It will be at the same time and place as the single parents group. This group was originally facilitated by Milton Kalish, LCSW and I am taking it over for him this fall. If you have any questions, you can call me, Mara Newbart, LCSW at 510-604-8918 Mara Newbart, LCSW

Jan. 1999

There's a great single parent support group at the Lafayette-Orinda Presbyterian Church (LOPC) in Lafayette on Monday nights at 6 pm. It's $3, drop-in, and free (good) childcare is provided. The group is run by a pair of therapists who volunteer their time. They used to be single parents. The group is not a cry-on-your-shoulder format. Focus is education. I went for 4 years. Good place to meet people. People come from all around the area. Altho it meets in the church, it has nothing to do with religion. Liz Hannigan is one of the leaders, and her number is 925 855 1745. She won't mind a call at all. The group is extremely supportive. Linda

April 1998

Neighborhood Moms has a single moms support group that is free once you join Neighborhood Moms ($25/year) for a huge newsletter packed full of info, playgroups, free monthly child development/parenting lectures etc. Call 527-MOMS to get a membership application. Denise