What Is Parents Without Partners?
Parents Without Partners provides single parents and their children with an opportunity for enhancing personal growth, self-confidence and sensitivity towards others by offering an environment for support, friendship and the exchange of parenting techniques.
History of the Organization
Parents Without Partners was founded in 1957 in New York City by two single parents: Jim Egleson, a noncustodial parent, and Jacqueline Bernard, a custodial parent. As concerned parents, they felt isolated from society because of their marital status, and decided to form a mutual support organization. Following their first newspaper advertisements directed to "Parents Without Partners", 25 single parents attended the first meeting in a Greenwich Village church basement. Later, media attention brought inquiries from all over the country.
Parents Without Partners, Inc. is now the largest international, nonprofit membership organization devoted to the welfare and interests of single parents and their children. Single parents may join one of approximately 200 chapters; they may be male or female, custodial or noncustodial, separated, divorced, widowed or never-married. Distinct from chapter membership, the affiliate membership is offered to any interested person or business and the member-at-large membership is offered to any qualified individual. See our "How to Join Page" for more information on types of membership.
Brief Facts About Parents Without Partners, Inc.
* Thousands of members in the United States and Canada.
* 55% female, 45% male.
* Ages range from 18 to 80; most have teenage children.
* Average length of membership is four years. Approximately 85% of the membership is separated or divorced.
* Never-married members are under-represented in PWP compared to national statistics.
* Widowed parent membership is comparable to national statistics.
* PWP members are typical middle-class North Americans. They come from all walks of life, representing a kaleidoscope of occupations, interests and educational attainment.
* Some PWP members have only recently become single parents, while others have been single for some time. Some have young children, others have grown children. Some are sophisticated, others have led sheltered lives. All are in a process of transition and change, and seek help from PWP.
* PWP members are of all faiths and political beliefs.
* All chapter members are verified as being single parents by members or professionals in the community.
What Do Chapters and Chapter Members Do?
* Chapters range in size from 25 to 1,500 members.
* Chapters are run entirely by volunteer members who assume a variety of leadership roles.
* All chapters, to comply with their PWP charters, run programs balanced among three areas: Educational activities, Family activities and Adult Social/Recreational activities.
o Educational Activities may be group discussions, lectures by psychologists, lawyers and other professionals, study groups, training seminars, leadership and personal growth opportunities.
o Family Activities may include holiday activities, potluck suppers, fun and educational outings, picnics, hikes, camping, bowling, etc. for children and their parents. These activities may be unique in that they are the one place where children can be alone with other single parent children.
o Adult Social/Recreational Activities help single parents learn to relate again with other adults as single persons.
* Chapters may also conduct community service programs. These include community outreach (speakers for seminars and workshops in the community), fund raising for national or local charities, or cooperative exchanges (such as baby-sitting, clothing, or toy exchanges).
* Chapters are organized under Regional Councils, which coordinate programs and sponsor conferences.
* Chapters and Regional Councils are organized into Zones, which elect directors and hold conferences.
Benefits of an International Organization
As an international organization, Parents Without Partners offers the following services to all members:
* Advocacy: PWP speaks for all single parents and their children at conferences, in national coalitions, and in workshops. The International Board of Directors supports legislative policies and priorities to further the interests of single parent families.
* An International Convention: Every year, members conduct organization business and elections, and attend workshops on both single parenting subjects and on how to run PWP programs at the chapter level. Children and adults may receive special awards for arts and talent.
* Organization Awards: A number of awards are available at many levels of the organization in the areas of Community Relations, Family and Youth, Membership, Program, Legislative Action, and the Distinguished Service to Children Award to a person or group that has made a great contribution to children and teens.
* Scholarships: Applicants must be dependent children, up to twenty-five (25) years of age, of PWP members. They must be (1) in the senior class of any high school and must plan to enter and have applied to a school of higher education for the following year OR (2) be an undergraduate student at a college or trade school.
* Free Subscription to Single Parent Magazine
* Medical Plan Discounts
* Members Only Forums -- Online members worldwide can communicate and share ideas in our members only section of our website.