Why a Single Parenting Summit?

Our world is experiencing one of the most dramatic family shifts in history. In the United States, over 37% of all homes are now headed by a single parent, compared to 13% in 1970. In Europe, statistics are not far behind. Unfortunately, many churches, businesses, schools and social systems have been left behind and are not equipped to handle this shift or understand the unique needs of single parent families. For example, with nearly 50% of all babies born this year being born to single moms, only 1% of all churches have any sort of single parent ministry or plan to care for this half of the population. 

Pioneered by founders Dawn VanderWerf and Matt Haviland, the Single Parenting Summit is a catalyst for cultural change and reversing the trend of single parent families.  From its beginnings as the Grand Rapids Single Parenting Expo in 2012, the event grew into The Single Parenting Summit in 2017 after Dawn and Matt received a greater vision of not only providing practical resources, but reaching single parents on a personal level to help them grow in all areas of life. The goal of the Summit is to equip leaders worldwide to develop or improve single parent support initiatives, and to empower single moms and dads through dynamic and compelling teaching to live a life where they are able to overcome financial, emotional and generational challenges and bring their children up in loving and stable homes.

Single Parents and Their
Kids are Vulnerable

  • In 2013, the median household income for married families in the U.S. was $84,000; for single mom homes it was $26,000.
  • Only one third of all single moms receive child support
  • 40% of single moms in the U.S. are now considered “food insecure”
  • 8 out of 10 homeless families are a single mom with children
  • Children in homes where a single mom is living with a non-biological father are 10 times more likely to experience abuse
  • Children from fatherless homes account for 71% of all high school drop outs, 75% of all teens in chemical abuse centers, 85% of youth in prison, and 90% of all homeless and runaway teens
  • 71% of pregnant teens and 63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes
  • 85% of all children who show behavior disorders come from fatherless homes