Today is National Single Parent Day, and at Buckner International, we are honored to work with many amazing single parents through the Buckner Family Pathways® program. In 2022, Family Pathways served 166 Texas families and reported a 93.9% success rate. With a family-oriented focus, the program impacts both the parent and the children involved.
The success rate of Family Pathways is measured by program completion. Graduation from the program occurs when the single-parent participants meet one of the following qualifications: graduation with a degree or certificate, transfer to a higher degree program, and/or achieving sustainable employment and financial self-sufficiency.
Self-sufficiency is another metric used by Buckner to demonstrate the program’s impact.
“In addition to measuring the graduation rate, we monitor for the number of graduates who maintain self-sufficiency after 90 days of exiting the program,” said Kandyce Ormes-Ripley, associate vice president of data analytics and strategy for Buckner International.
“It’s too early to report on our self-sufficiency rates for last year, but we are all extremely proud of our graduates from 2021 who were able to achieve a 92% self-sufficiency rating,” she continued. “This number is evidence that the single-parent graduates of Buckner Family Pathways are truly breaking the generational cycles of poverty for themselves and their children.”
Last year’s participants also reported a 94% satisfaction rating with the program in meeting the program’s self-defined standards of quality for family strengthening and support.
Support to achieve the success single parents have always dreamed of
“It’s not just about finishing the program, it’s about accomplishing something they didn’t think was possible,” said Marisa Phillips, senior director of Buckner Family Pathways. “The women I have talked with have continued to succeed. Their success looks different. For some it’s an achieved salary or dollar amount in savings, for others it’s the degree or vocation, and others its tangible things like buying a car or home.”
During their time in Buckner Family Pathways, single parents are provided affordable housing, child care, parenting and money management classes, counseling, family coaching, mentorship and conflict resolution tools. These resources help protect the families from domestic abuse, financial uncertainty, homelessness and hopelessness.
“I think what’s unique about this program is the stability it provides for families: a safe place to live, a community of other single parents and children working towards the same goals, counseling support, family coaching, financial empowerment, parenting training, and spiritual enrichment,” Phillips said. “The children are impacted because they see their parent setting goals and working hard to achieve them. That’s one of the goals of the two-gen model. It’s not only the parent being impacted by program but the next generation as well.”
The program impacts the entire family
According to Pew Research Center, the U.S has the world’s highest rate of children living in single parent households at 23%. In Texas, 42% of single-mother families live in poverty. Family Pathways is family-focused, rather than just parent-focused, resulting in generational change.
Ormes-Ripley encourages single parents to join Family Pathways.
“The program itself is rigorous and you may want to give up. But don’t,” she said. “We are here to support, encourage and see you through. I’ve had so many conversations with mothers who were abused and neglected, who were homeless, who grew up without parents and in the foster care system. Now these mothers are doctors, teachers, counselors and social workers. It is a program worth investing in.”