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WVU Parkersburg offers single parent support group for students

West Virginia University at Parkersburg’s Counseling and Disability Services Division has established a Single Parents SUPPORT (Single United Parents Persevere Open-Heartedly and Respectfully Together) group for single parents on campus as part of the campus-wide Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program.

The group is designed to not only help single parents build and maintain relationships with staff, faculty, and their peers, but also provide attendees with resources to meet their goals and needs. Facilitated by Debra Harner, WVU Parkersburg TANF student services specialist, in partnership with the WVU at Parkersburg Foundation, the Single Parents SUPPORT Group offers free dinner and child care during meetings.

“I can relate to the struggles of my students, and I serve as living proof that they can change their circumstances,” said Harner. “When you work to create a positive self-image, you become more purpose-oriented, it reflects in your parenting, school work, relationships and goals. I feel confident this group will positively change the lives of all who attend.”

Topics to be covered in this group are self-esteem, relationships, how to deal with conflict, objectification of women in culture, the importance of same-sex friendships, social media, rape/sexual assault, and domestic violence.

WVU Parkersburg is a parent-friendly campus with many services offered to assist college students with children. Services and amenities for parents include a lactation room, located at 0102B, and on-campus childcare services at the Center for Early Learning. The center is open Monday through Thursday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Friday from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The next Single Parents SUPPORT Group meeting is scheduled at WVU Parkersburg for Thursday, Feb. 22, from 5:30 – 6:45 p.m. This group is open to faculty, staff and students who are single parents to children of all ages. To attend, please RSVP by contacting Debbie Harner at ude.puvw@renraH.eibbeD or 304.424.8371.