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The Solo Circle
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The Solo Circle

by angeliagan and sydneyshine on 31 May 2022 for Rookie Awards 2022

The Solo Circle streamlines the building of community among solo parents by giving local communities a framework for effectively facilitating and establishing recurring, in-person meetings. By creating a safe space for solo parents to gather and connect, they can build a strong support system in their proximity.

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It takes a village to raise a child, and when the responsibility lands on one person, it can seem like an impossible task. Parents raising a child on their own, known as solo parents, need a support system they can rely on as they deal with the many challenges that come with making ends meet for them and their children.

Despite the non-traditional family structure becoming more common, stigmas surrounding single parents continue to linger. Today, one in four children are raised in single-parent households; yet the two-parent household is the social standard and ideal. From external stigmas affecting how solo parents are perceived by others, to internal stigmas affecting how parents and their children alike perceive themselves, it is important to challenge these harmful stereotypes and instead find opportunities to empower and uplift these individuals.

The Solo Circle streamlines the building of community among solo parents by giving local communities a framework for effectively facilitating and establishing recurring, in-person meetings. By creating a safe space for solo parents to gather and connect, they can find comfort in shared experiences and new perspectives, as well as build a strong support system.

Social stigmas can prove to be isolating, and there is strength in community. With the opportunity to hear experiences of solo parents in local proximity, these parents can learn that they have reliable support – they will have a strong connection to those who will understand what they’ve been through and be able to compassionately respond. Solo parents have to do it all on their own — with The Solo Circle, they don’t have to.

In-Person Meetings

Solo Circle meetings allow for solo parents to share stories and grow connections among those like them. Meetings maintain an open line of communication for parents to feel they can reach out for help and grow relationships with those around them. Facilitated by leaders within each community, each Solo Circle meeting is unique according to the community’s needs.

The Meeting Toolkit

The Meeting Toolkit is a magnetic, portable whiteboard with attachments that facilitate interaction and the input of the individual’s needs. The Toolkit acts as a vessel for facilitating hard conversations and fits accessible vocabulary and visualizations of complex feelings. The Solo Circle Toolkit provides the opportunity for solo parents to express the need for help without the stigma and barrier that typically exists.

Organization Website

Anyone can become involved with the Solo Circle via the organization’s website. Here, prospective and regular members can view a local group’s meeting schedule and register on any device. 

Leadership Handbook

Solo Circle Facilitators assist in guiding meetings and ensuring an atmosphere that is safe, encouraging, and welcoming for all participants. Facilitators run a minimum of one Solo Circle affiliated meeting every two weeks and tailor meeting topics of each two-week block to the needs of their Solo Circle group.

The Solo Circle Values

The Solo Circle is a support system for Solo Parents. Although, you need not identify as a solo parent to partake.

Honesty and transparency are practiced through meetings. Sharing is done at your own discretion, but you will be encouraged to share your proximity to the topic of discussion.

We aim to bring purpose and connection to our community by applying what was created and discussed in the Solo Circle, and taking what is relevant to our context.

We focus on what is strong, not what is wrong. 


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