Our Dundee service
View our range of support services for single parents below.
Cheryl* is 27 and lives with her three-year-old daughter in a housing association flat in Dundee. She was referred to our Dundee Employability Pathway programme by her work coach and went on to receive further support with her mental health and wellbeing, access to training, money and debt advice, housing issues and energy costs.Read her story
Being a single parent is challenging. At times we can face issues around, parenting, setting boundaries and routines, benefit/financial difficulties, or simply feeling isolated or overwhelmed.
Project staff can meet with you on a one-to-one basis either in your home, in our Family Centre or in a suitable place of your choice. We will spend time with you to find out how we can best support you to address any issues you are facing. We will work with you as an individual, with your own life challenges to create an action plan which will help support you to make small changes which can have a large impact on your environment, physical and mental well-being.
Groups and activities
Being a single parent can be isolating. Getting involved in groups can help you stay connected with other single parents, have fun and be part of your community.
Our groups come in a variety of forms, from gardening, cooking to walking. It is important to understand that these are not therapy groups, however, we believe that by being part of a group, sharing experiences and knowing that you don’t have to suffer alone can feel therapeutic and powerful.
Single parents can access a variety of different groups dependent on their likes, wants and needs. Parents we work with have been involved in gardening, craft and social groups. At times single parents and their children can attend with fun activities for the children, giving the parents a chance to chat to other parents or join in with the activities.
Please check our Facebook to see what groups we are planning or are currently running.
Health and wellbeing
We know it can be hard to provide everything you want for your children and yourself on a tight budget.
Our workers can give advice and practical support around:
- eating healthily
- managing a budget
- easy ways to exercise
- tell you about fun things to do around Dundee that are free or cost very little
- we can also apply to foodbanks and for small grants at times of crisis
See our wellbeing for single parents
Looking after yourself
It’s important as a parent to look after your own wellbeing. Life events such as a relationship breakdown, house eviction, job loss, impact of COVID, and bereavement can lead to unmanageable increases in anxiety levels, feelings of helplessness, loneliness, overwhelm and a difficulty in dealing with strong emotions.
We also know that asking for help can be hard for so many different reasons, which may include a sense of feeling judged, being viewed as not coping, experiencing feelings of guilt and shame and sometimes thinking that our issues are not important enough.
OPFS can help by offering a range of supports to help put positive plans and learn strategies to enable you understand and manage your feelings.
We can provide one-to-one support and/or group sessions to help ease the stress, making you feel more relaxed and better able to manage. We can also support you to seek specialist support from other agencies if needed and accompany you to appointments.
Thinking about getting a job can feel overwhelming at times. We know that there can be lots of things that need to be considered to enable parents to do this. We can help you to start your journey of working towards employment. With our support, we can look for solutions to overcome the things that are getting in the way and help you plan the journey you are going to take to make you as job-ready as possible. Once you have a job, we will still be here to support you.
OPFS are here to provide you with the help and support you need.
We currently offer 2 employment programmes:
- Employment Pathway is targeted specifically at single parents who have a disability or mental health issues, and who are currently out of work. This does not need to have been diagnosed and could include issues like anxiety which can act as a barrier to employment.
- Parental Employment Support Project (PES) – is open to all parents in Dundee who are looking for work or are working and who want to build on their skills and training so they can access more employment opportunities and enhance their Financial position.
Many single parents are working fewer hours than they would like or are in jobs which do not make use of all their skills and potential.
The PES Project aims to help parents in this position to be better equipped to find a job that works for them, meets their financial needs and allows them to progress.
Single parents who are out of work will be supported on their journey into employment. Action plans are agreed with parents and they are supported by their OPFS Support Worker throughout.
This can include taking their very first steps in gaining skills and knowledge, undertaking training, compiling CVs, applying for college, completing application forms, and preparing for interviews.
There are opportunities to access free training to develop confidence and skills to develop employment potential.
Once in employment, in-work support is offered to help parents overcome any barriers which might impact on their ability to continue in the job.
For parents already in work, OPFS can help with building confidence, updating their CV, accessing accredited training, and looking for new job opportunities, as well as supporting parents to start a dialogue with their employers around their personal development and opportunities that may be available to them.